Operation IceBridge - Studying Earth's Polar Ice

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Antarctic 2014 Campaign News

Back to Bellingshausen and the Peninsula

Forrestal Range in the Pensacola Mountains› View larger
A view of the Forrestal Range in the Pensacola Mountains during IceBridge’s flight on Nov. 14, 2014. Credit: NASA / Michael Studinger

Researchers with NASA’s Operation IceBridge built on their success with more science flights over Antarctica, including two that weather conditions have been preventing since the start of the campaign.

On the morning of Nov. 10 IceBridge mission planners got a break in the weather that has kept the Antarctic Peninsula covered in clouds for the past several weeks. This mission was a repeat of previous flights, focusing on surface elevation changes to four glaciers in the southern part of the peninsula.

In addition to studying the Fleming, Maitland, Lurabee and Clifford glaciers, IceBridge also measured portions of the George VI Ice Shelf. This involved resurveying part of the ice shelf’s grounding line – the area where ice begins to float on the ocean – and measuring an evenly-spaced grid further uphill. With the exception of a few patchy low clouds in the region, the team had the kind of clear weather that allows for good instrument performance and good views of the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula.

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IceBridge Mission Statement

NASA’s Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the polar regions with the global climate system. IceBridge utilizes a highly specialized fleet of research aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of innovative science instruments ever assembled to characterize annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. In addition, IceBridge collects critical data used to predict the response of earth’s polar ice to climate change and resulting sea-level rise. IceBridge also helps bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA's ICESat satellite missions.


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Page Last Updated: November 18th, 2014
Page Editor: Holly Zell