Field Workshop on Tidewater Glaciers, Svalbard, 26-31 August 2012

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Field Workshop on Tidewater Glaciers, Svalbard, 26-31 August 2012

Martin Sharp
“Field Workshop on Studies of Tidewater Glaciers”
Svalbard, Norway - High Arctic
Cruise on the r/v “Horyzont II”
26-31 August 2012

The Cryosphere Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee has initiated a field workshop on studies of Arctic tidewater glaciers. The workshop will be held in Svalbard aboard the Polish r/v “Horyzont II”. The ship has suitable facilities for workshop sessions and will provide accommodation, board, social meetings and transport of participants to neighboring tidewater glaciers by motor boats.

Motivation and purpose of the meeting

Understanding of glacier calving processes are important for glacier mass balance estimates and thus for global sea level rise and for deglacierization of large areas in the Arctic. Proper use of remote sensing data and modeling of tidewater glaciers need in situ validation and continuous monitoring of tidewater glaciers. The purpose of the workshop is to train early career scientists in field and remote sensing studies of tidewater glaciers. The workshop has three major: (a) to present recent results from studies of Svalbard (and other) tidewater glaciers during scientific sessions; (b) to share experience, application of new techniques and obtained results directly in the field by visiting key tidewater glaciers in Spitsbergen; and (c) to discuss a potential international program of coordinated field and remote sensing observations of calving glaciers in the Arctic.

All components of the meeting will be directed to young scientists training them in use of different field and remote sensing methods and present of recent results. The workshop will encourage participation in research of calving glaciers for better understanding of the processes and for more precise estimation of the calving flux in mass budget calculations and thus to the global sea level rise in the future. The meeting will combine of scientific talks and field training for both senior and young scientists.

The workshop will be held on board of the r/v “Horyzont II”, chartered by the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences.
The cruise itinerary includes: Longyearbyen – Hornsund - Ny Aalesund – Kongsfjorden – Billefjorden – Longyearbyen.

General program of the workshop

26 August – Arrival to Longyearbyen.
Introductory session: “Recent advances in field studies of tidewater glaciers” at UNIS (3 PM).
Practical and safety information. Boarding and beginning of the cruise (8 PM).
27 August. – 1st field & training session on Hansbreen (morning*): Time lapse cameras & terrestrial photogrammetry, laser distance meter, terrestrial laser scanner, oceanographical equipment
Scientific session at the Polish Polar Station, Hornsund (afternoon*): “Methods and techniques in monitoring of tidewater glaciers”.
28 August - 2nd field & training session* Hornsund Brepollen onboard with potential landing: Remote sensing methods vs. real glaciers, multibeam echo sounding of the sea bed [t.b.d], geomorphic evidence of surge.
Scientific session* (onboard): “Application of remote sensing to studies of tidewater glaciers”.
29 August - 3nd field & training session* in Ny Aalesund with potential cruise to the inner part of the Kongsfjorden: (tentative)
Scientific session*: “Requests of modellers to field observers of tidewater glaciers”.
30 August – 4th field & training session* Nordenskioldbreen, Billefjorden onboard with potential landing: Time lapse GPS single & dual frequency, automatic weather stations [+t.b.d.].
Scientific session (onboard): “Challenges and gaps in studies of Arctic tidewater glaciers”.
31 August – Disembarkation in Longyearbyen. “Summary session” at UNIS (10 AM).

Confirmed lecturers:

Doug Benn, Piotr Glowacki, Jon Ove Hagen, Jacek A. Jania, Faezeh Nick, W. Tad Pfeffer, Veijo Pohjola, Andreas Vieli (two more t.b.c. later)
*Due to variable sea/ice/weather conditions time of particular sessions might be changed. The general scheme is: field sessions in morning and scientific sessions in afternoon.

- Summary of the state-of-the-art of tidewater glacier field studies in the Arctic (including contribution of the ice2sea project). The summary will include identification of gaps in knowledge of calving glaciers.
- Design of a preliminary version of an international program on monitoring key tidewater glaciers using field and remote sensing methods.
- Recommendations on the use of comparable / unified field methods for monitoring of tidewater glaciers

- Report 1: Challenges for studies of Arctic tidewater glaciers (an overview).
- Report 2: Recommended methods for unified monitoring of Arctic tidewater glaciers. (Both reports for submission to IASC and other international organizations and web publication by end of November 2012. Report 2 could be useful for the SAON Arctic Council programme.)

Sponsors and organizers

Cryosphere Working Group, International Arctic Science Committee
Committee on Polar Research, Polish Academy of Sciences
Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences
EU-project Ice2sea
SVALI-Nordic center of excellence in glaciology
University of Silesia, Poland
University of Oslo, Norway
University Centre in Svalbard – UNIS, Longyearbyen

Steering Group

Piotr Głowacki, Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences
Jon Ove Hagen, University of Oslo
Jacek Jania, University of Silesia
Tad Pfeffer, Uviversity of Colorado

Cost of participation

Cruise, logistics, accommodation and board on r/v Horyzont II during the entire workshop:
- 1000 EUR – senior scientists (by invitation) + travel costs to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
-  500 EUR – PhD students, young scientists + travel costs to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway


Participation of senior scientists is arranged by invitation from the steering group.

PhD Students and young scientists (early Postdocs) interested in field and remote sensing aspects of studies on tidewater glaciers are invited to participate in the workshop at a significantly reduced fee. The number of early career scientists is limited to 12 (due to capacity of the ship).

Application for early career scientist participation must be submitted to the Cryosphere Working Group Secretariat ([hidden email]) by 10 June 2012. It should contain (1) motivation letter with CV (up to 600 words), (2) abstract of proposed presentation with indication of the session title (up to 400 words) and (3) letter of recommendation by supervisor / leader of research group. The workshop steering group will evaluate proposals and inform applicants by 20 June 2012.

Deadline for payment of the participation fee is 6 July 2012.

More detailed information on objectives scope of the workshop can be obtained from Jacek A. Jania ([hidden email]) and on logistics / practicalities from Piotr Glowacki ([hidden email]). The second circular will be distributed on 20 June 2012.

Martin Sharp
Professor and Chair
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Ab, T6G 2E3, Canada

Tel: (1) 780 492 5249

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