Seismometers, GPS recovered from Alaskan glacier

posted in: Field work, Research | 0

In September, UI grad student Tristan Amaral, Juneau local Mary Gianotti, and I traveled up to the Lemon Creek Glacier to recover seismic and other equipment set up at the end of June.  The seismometers, GPS receivers and pressure gauge we’d installed will help us to better understand the evolution of subglacial hydrologic systems, and their impact on glacier flow.  This work was made possible with a University of Idaho seed grant.

This fieldwork also represented the first deployment of new seismometers owned by the University of Idaho Glacier Dynamics Group, and so was a valuable test of the sensors, and their in-house constructed enclosures and power systems.  I’m happy to report that data recovery was very nearly 100% and that our station enclosures kept everything dry.  With the hard work, positive attitudes and safety consciousness of our field team, we recovered all of the sensors that had been left out, with the additional help of a little skillful helicopter piloting.  This success was in spite of the 4.2 meters of snow and ice melt that had occurred since installation, and weather at the beginning of our field time that left us rather soggy.  I’m looking forward to digging deeply into the data collected, and collaboration with our partners on this project at the University of Alaska Southeast, Caltech, and the University of Grenoble.