Operation IceBridge Enables More Context About the Global Climate
Project Leads: Field Cyberinfrastructure PI: Richard J. Knepper
Funded in-part by: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (USA) (NASA), award FY2013-070
Research made possible by: Campus Bridging and Research Infrastructure (CBRI); Forward Observer
Research indicates that seabed topology underneath the Totten Glacier of East Antarctica is contributing to the Glacier's melting at higher-than-before-thought rates. Analyzing data gathered by a number of research groups in a number of countries, a group of glacial scientists has determined that the seabed at the edges of the continent is channeling warmer water inland under the ice sheet, accelerating its thinning. Because of the way the seabed is shaped under the ice, this also increases the exposure the ice sheet itself gets to the warmer water; further out to sea, a layer of colder water insulates the deeper, warm water from the sea ice.
This discovery was the result of a collaboration between institutions in multiple states, countries, and continents working together to collect and analyze data from a number of seasons in order to create more context about the global climate. NASAâ€™s Operation IceBridge team collected the bulk of the data (that is, everything between 2009-2012, and much of the data from 2012-forward), with Indiana University fielding a team of IT professionals to provide cyberinfrastructure support for data collection, verification, and processing of data collected both in the field and at home after the end of each data collection season. IU created an instrument-driven system, the Forward Observer, in order to allow data capture and processing while NASAâ€™s radar plane is in flight.
The Campus Bridging and Research Infrastructure division of PTI provides a number of IT services in direct support of scientific discovery, including data collection and processing for the Operation IceBridge project.
NSF GSS Codes:
Primary Field: Geosciences (302) Earth Sciences
Secondary Field: Computer Science (401) Data Modeling