AGU Meeting Announcement: Research Support in Interior Greenland

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AGU Meeting Announcement: Research Support in Interior Greenland

Bob Hawley

A New Vision for Research Support in Interior Greenland

Meeting Thursday, 8 December (18:30-20:00) in ARCUS Community Meeting Room (Pacific Room J, in the Marriot)

Recent investments by OPP ARSL have recreated capability to support research high on the Greenland ice sheet using overland traverses in addition to aircraft. To date the Greenland Inland Traverse (GrIT) has been in development, but has successfully completed two round trips from Thule to Summit, delivering significant quantities of fuel to both NEEM and Summit in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Plans are being developed to expand capacity and capability of GrIT. One motivating factor for expanding GrIT is to facilitate the demobilization of NEEM and redevelopment of Summit, but it is also exciting to point out that an operational GrIT ushers in expanded opportunities to support a range of research projects literally anywhere on the central portion of the ice sheet.

The concept for operational GrIT envisions a "split fleet" with one part shuttling material from Thule through the marginal zone during a brief springtime window each year, while the other part of the fleet transports material from the inland side of the margin to wherever it is needed. The inland part of the fleet should be able to operate throughout summer, or maybe even longer.

The inland fleet will need a logistical hub on the ice sheet, for maintenance and over-wintering. The location of this hub may be permanent, or it could move frequently, but it will not be at Summit. The hub could be a base for summertime science projects, and possible year round access to the hub is being considered.

The inland logistic hub for GrIT is expected to also serve as the home base for flexible "Mobile Camps" that will be available for deployment where needed to support future science. Design of these camps is in very early stages.

OPP and CPS are seeking input from the community doing, or contemplating, research on the Greenland ice sheet. Thoughts on possible locations for an interior logistics hub are welcome. Comments on the types of support and facilities that should be incorporated into Mobile Camps will be particularly useful. Some questions we solicit responses to include:

  • How large would a field team have to be for your science requirements?

  • Would you plan to make measurements along a traverse route, or would your work be focused on a certain region around a deployed Mobile Camp?

  • For survey types of research, would you work only while vehicles/sleds were in transit, or would you need frequent stops for a few hours or days?

  • If your research is mainly stationary, would you need a camp for a few days/weeks, most of a summer season, or multiple summers at a single location?

We expect that nearly every investigator or research team will have different responses to these types of questions. Therefore we hope that you can join us in San Francisco to make sure your needs and views are known as the discussion and planning move forward.

Bob Hawley
Department of Earth Sciences
Dartmouth College
HB 6105 Fairchild Hall
Hanover, NH 03755

Voice: (603) 646-1425
Fax: (603) 646-3922

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