SGER Proposal:Glaciological change in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
This award supports a Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER) to study glaciological change in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica under the category of "application of new expertise or new approaches to established research topics". The purpose of the project is to assess the application of classified imagery to the study of the magnitude and rate of change of glacier extent and lake area as an indicator of climate change. Because the rate of change of both glacier extent and lake area is small compared to the resolution of unclassified imagery, the increased resolution of classified imagery is clearly needed. Access to classified imagery with 1 meter or better resolution will provide a baseline measurement against which future changes can be compared. Maximum use will be made of archived imagery but if necessary, one request will be made for new imagery to supplement the existing archive. This work will support on-going field measurements which are part of the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in the McMurdo Dry Valleys but which are limited by logistic constraints to only a few measurements during limited times of the year. If successful, the information gained in this project will enable researchers to better direct their efforts to identify the important physical processes controlling the changes in the valleys. The information acquired in conducting this project will be made available to the public, using appropriate security procedures to declassify the data. The "exploratory" and "high risk" nature of the proposed work and its "potential" to make an important "impact" on the field of Antarctic glacier studies are all reasons that this work is appropriate to support as an SGER.
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