Project Information
Collaborative Research: Implementing Low-power, Autonomous Observing Systems to Improve the Measurement and Understanding of Antarctic Precipitation
Short Title:
Antarctic Precipitation System Project
Start Date:
End Date:
Accurately measuring precipitation in Antarctica is important for purposes such as calculating Antarctica?s mass balance and contribution to global sea level rise, interpreting ice core records, and validating model- and satellite-based precipitation estimates. There is a critical need for reliable, autonomous, long-term measurements of Antarctic precipitation in order to better understand its variability in space in time. Such records over time are essentially absent from the continent, despite their importance. This project will deploy and test instrumentation to measure and record rates of snowfall and blowing snow in Antarctica. Project goals are based on installation of four low-power, autonomous Antarctic precipitation systems (APS) co-located at automatic weather station (AWS) sites in the Ross Island region of Antarctica. The APSs are designed with an integrated sensor approach to provide multiple types of observations of snow accumulation types at the test sites. The APSs are designed to construct an accurate timeline of snow accumulation, and to distinguish the water equivalent of fallen precipitation from surface blowing (lofted) snow, a prime confounding factor. The standard suite of instruments to be deployed includes: precipitation gauge with double Alter windshield, laser disdrometer, laser snow height sensor, optical precipitation detector, anemometer at gauge height, and a visible /infrared webcam. These instruments have previously been shown to work well in cold regions applications.
Person Role
Seefeldt, Mark Investigator and contact
Landolt, Scott Co-Investigator
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 1543377
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 1543325
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Deployment Type
Mark Seefeldt general deployment
Scott Landolt general deployment
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
1 (processed data)
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
USAP-DC Precipitation Observations for the Northwest Ross Ice Shelf - 2017-12 to 2019-11 None exists
  1. Seefeldt, M. W., Low, T. M., Landolt, S. D., & Nylen, T. H. (2021). Remote and Autonomous Measurements of Precipitation for the Northwest Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. (doi:10.5194/essd-2021-163)
  2. Seefeldt, M. W., Low, T. M., Landolt, S. D., & Nylen, T. H. (2021). Remote and autonomous measurements of precipitation for the northwestern Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Earth System Science Data, 13(12), 5803–5817. (doi:10.5194/essd-13-5803-2021)
Platforms and Instruments

This project has been viewed 13 times since May 2019 (based on unique date-IP combinations)