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Instruments and Methods Using distributed temperature sensors to monitor an Antarctic ice shelf and sub-ice-shelf cavity

Authors: Tyler, S. W.
Resource type:Composite Resource
Created:Apr 01, 2018 at 5:29 p.m.
Last updated: Apr 09, 2018 at 6:34 p.m. by CTEMPs OSU-UNR


Monitoring of ice-shelf and sub-ice-shelf ocean temperatures represents an important component in understanding ice-sheet stability. Continuous monitoring is challenging due to difficult surface access, difficulties in penetrating the ice shelf, and the need for long-term operation of nonrecoverable sensors. We aim to develop rapid lightweight drilling and near-continuous fiber-optic temperature-monitoring methods to meet these challenges. During November 2011, two instrumented moorings were installed within and below the McMurdo Ice Shelf (a sub-region of the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica) at Windless Bight. We used a combination of ice coring for the upper portion of each shelf borehole and hot-point drilling for penetration into the ocean. The boreholes provided temporary access to the ice-shelf cavity, into which distributed temperature sensing (DTS) fiber-optic cables and conventional pressure/temperature transducers were installed. The DTS moorings provided nearcontinuous (in time and depth) observations of ice and ocean temperatures to a depth of almost 800 m beneath the ice-shelf surface. Data received document the presence of near-freezing water throughout the cavity from November through January, followed by an influx of warmer water reaching 150 m beneath the ice-shelf base during February and March. The observations demonstrate prospects for achieving much higher spatial sampling of temperature than more conventional oceanographic moorings.

Raw project data is available by contacting ctemps@unr.edu

Subject Keywords

Windlass Bight,ice shelf,Ross Ice Shelf,McMurdo,CTEMPs,DTS,fiber optic

How to cite

Tyler, S. W. (2018). Instruments and Methods Using distributed temperature sensors to monitor an Antarctic ice shelf and sub-ice-shelf cavity, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/3cc1dc1c664b4fa78a31fda32784276c

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Tyler, S. W.


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