Collaborative Research: POLENET-Antarctica: Investigating Links Between Geodynamics and Ice Sheets - Phase 2

Project: Research project

Project Details


Intellectual Merit:

The PIs propose to continue and expand GPS and seismic for ANET-POLENET Phase 2 to advance understanding of geodynamic processes and their influence on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. ANET-POLENET science themes include: 1) determining ice mass change since the last glacial maximum, including modern ice mass balance; 2) solid earth influence on ice sheet dynamics; and 3) tectonic evolution of West Antarctica and feedbacks with ice sheet evolution. Nine new remote continuous GPS stations, to be deployed in collaboration with U.K. and Italian partners, will augment ANET-POLENET instrumentation deployed during Phase 1. Siting is designed to better constrain uplift centers predicted by GIA models and indicated by Phase 1 results. ANET-POLENET Phase 2 builds on Phase 1 scientific, technological, and logistical achievements including 1) seismic images of crust and mantle structure that resolve the highly heterogeneous thermal and viscosity structure of the Antarctic lithosphere and underlying mantle; 2) newly identified intraplate glacial, volcanic, and tectonic seismogenic processes; 3) improved estimates of intraplate vertical and horizontal crustal motions and refinement of the Antarctic GPS reference frame; and 4) elucidation of controls on glacial isostatic adjustment-induced crustal motions due to laterally varying earth structure. The PIs present a nominal plan to reduce ANET by approximately half to a longer-term community 'backbone network' in the final 2 years of this project.

Broader impacts:

Monitoring and understanding mass change and dynamic behavior of the Antarctic ice sheet using in situ GPS and seismological studies will help improve understanding of how Antarctic ice sheets respond to a warming world and how will this response impacts sea-level and other global changes. Seismic and geodetic data collected by the backbone ANET-POLENET network are openly available to the scientific community. ANET-POLENET is integral in the development and realization of technological and logistical innovations for year-round operation of instrumentation at remote polar sites, helping to advance scientifically and geographically broad studies of the polar regions. The ANET-POLENET team will establish a training initiative to mentor young polar scientists in complex, multidisciplinary and internationally collaborative research. ANET-POLENET will continue the broad public outreach to the public about polar science through the website, university lectures, and K-12 school visits. This research involves multiple international partners.

Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/19


  • National Science Foundation: $747,248.00


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