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Collaborative Research: Integrative Study of Marine Ice Sheet Stability and Subglacial Life Habitats - Robotic Access to Grounding-zones for Exploration and Science (RAGES) - award #0838947
Entry ID: USAP-0838947_1

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This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). The RAGES project (Robotic Access to Grounding zones for Exploration and Science) is one of three research components of the WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling) integrative initiative that is being funded by the Antarctic Integrated System Science Program of NSF's ...

INTELLECTUAL MERIT: The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recognized that the greatest uncertainties in assessing future global sea-level change stem from a poor understanding of ice sheet dynamics and ice sheet vulnerability to oceanic and atmospheric warming. Disintegration of the WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) alone would contribute 3-5 m to global sea-level rise, making WAIS a focus of scientific concern due to its potential susceptibility to internal or ocean-driven instability. The overall WISSARD project will test the overarching hypothesis that active water drainage connects various subglacial environments and exerts major control on ice sheet flow, geochemistry, metabolic and phylogenetic diversity, and biogeochemical transformations.

BROADER IMPACTS: Societal Relevance: Global warming, melting of ice sheets and consequential sea-level rise are of high societal relevance. Science Resource Development: After a 9-year hiatus WISSARD will provide the US-science community with a renewed capability to access and study sub-ice sheet environments. Developing this technological infrastructure will benefit the broader science community and assets will be accessible for future use through the NSF-OPP drilling contractor. The RAGES project represents a significant advance in polar technology by incorporating the use of complex new instrumentation like the Sub-Ice ROVer and subglacial ocean/lake mooring systems. Furthermore, these projects will pioneer an approach implementing recommendations from the National Research Council committee on Principles of Environmental Stewardship for the Exploration and Study of Subglacial Environments (2007). Education and Outreach (E/O): These activities are grouped into four categories: i) increasing student participation in polar research by fully integrating them in our research programs; ii) introducing new investigators to the polar sciences by incorporating promising young investigators in our programs, iii) promotion of K-12 teaching and learning programs by incorporating various teachers and NSTA programs, and iv) reaching a larger public audience through such venues as popular science magazines, museum based activities and videography and documentary films. In summary, WISSARD will promote scientific exploration of Antarctica by conveying to the public the excitement of accessing and studying what may be some of the last unexplored aquatic environments on Earth, and which represent a potential analogue for extraterrestrial life habitats on Europa and Mars.

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Description: NSF Award Abstract

Description: Basal melt rates of the Ross Ice Shelf near the Whillans Ice Stream grounding line
Data Set Citation
Version: 1
Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 2009-09-01T00:00:00.000Z
Stop Date: 2014-08-31T23:59:59.999Z
Location Keywords
Not applicable
Ancillary Keywords
Data Set Progress
Data Center
United States Antarctic Program Data Center
Data Center URL: http://www.usap-dc.org/

Data Center Personnel
Name: Data Manager
Email: info at usap-dc.org
Contact Address:
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
61 Route 9W
City: Palisades
Province or State: NY
Postal Code: 10964
Country: USA
Slawek Tulaczyk
Email: stulaczy at ucsc.edu
Contact Address:
University of California-Santa Cruz
Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2018-09-11
Last DIF Revision Date: 2018-09-15