Measuring the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Measuring the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

An international team of researchers has collected new data about the Greenland Ice Sheet to better understand exactly where and how fast it is melting, so that they can monitor its changes and more accurately predict sea level rise.

MT Logger

Led by Earth and Planetary Sciences’ Dr Kate Selway, they’ve taken the first-ever magnetotelluric (MT) measurements of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which measures naturally-occurring electromagnetic waves to image the electrical conductivity of the Earth.

This allowed the team to image melt layers in the ice and the structure of the earth beneath it.

They deployed three long-period MT instruments to record data for a few weeks about the conductivity of the mantle to a depth of several hundred kilometres.

And they deployed three broadband MT instruments which provide information about the ice sheet and the Earth’s crust, and are moved more frequently.

It may be summer in the Northern Hemisphere but working at 3,200 metres above sea level where the maximum doesn’t go above -10C during the day makes for some challenging fieldwork conditions.

In the photo above, team members including Earth and Planetary Sciences’ Sinan Özaydin are setting up an MT logger.

Published 13 November 2018.

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