Project Information
Collaborative Research: Is Ice Stream C Restarting? Glaciological Investigations of the 'Bulge' and the Trunk of Ice Stream C, West Antartica
This award supports a project to test whether Kamb Ice Stream (formerly Ice Stream C (ISC)), an ice stream
that is thought to have stopped ~150 years ago, may be already in the process of restarting. If yes, it will help establish what is the rate of ice stream reactivation and what mechanisms are controlling this rate. If there is no evidence for ongoing ice stream reactivation, the physical controls that are preventing it will be examined and alternative scenarios for near-future evolution of this ice stream will be explored. One such scenario is an increase in ice diversion toward the neighboring Whillans Ice Stream. Such diversion may help prevent a complete stoppage of Whillans Ice Stream,which has been slowing down for at least the last 24 years. This project will consist of two components: (1) field observations of bed properties,geometry of internal radar reflectors, as well as surface strain rates and velocity/topography changes using Ice-Penetrating Radar and differential Global Positioning System, (2) numerical modeling study of near future(~100-1000 years) evolution of Kamb Ice Stream. The field component will be focused on the bulge-to-trunk transition, which is located at the present time just downstream of the so-called camp UpC. Reactivation of Kamb Ice Stream should be reflected in a downstream migration of the bulge-trunk transition at possibly high rates (bulge migration rates of ~km/yr occur on surging mountain glaciers). The modeling
component will be used to generate predictions regarding the near-future behavior of Kamb Ice Stream. This project will provide training opportunities for at least two undergraduate students (per year) at St. Olaf College and for one
undergraduate student (per year) at UCSC. This collaboration will bring together scientists from three different types of US institutions: (1) a liberal arts college (St.Olaf College), (2) a public research university (UCSC) and (3) a NASA research laboratory (JPL). The project will also help build a new glaciological research program at UCSC. Project results will be incorporated into undergraduate and graduate courses at UCSC and will be made available
to the general public and educators through downloadable graphics and animations posted on the research website of the UCSC PI. Field data resulting from the project will be posted in the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center for use by other investigators.
Person Role
Jacobel, Robert Investigator
Antarctic Glaciology Award # 0337567
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
Not provided

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