Ice Bridge

Mount Murphy rises through the ice sheet along the flank of West Antarctica, diverting the flow of ice around it (photo credit J. Yungel, NASA  IceBridge Project)

Expanding Our Vision Brings the Big Picture Into Focus

1500 feet above the ground surface is where our suite of instruments normally operates, but for this flight we are taking them up higher, much higher, in fact over 20 times our normal range to 33,000 feet. Our flight plan is to repeat lines surveyed in a previous years by NASA’s Land, Vegetation Ice Sensor… read more

by |November 12, 2012
Travel to the Ronne Ice Shelf involved passing by the Ellesworth Mountains. The range contains Antarctica’s highest peak, Vinson Massif at 4897 meters of elevation.

The Story at Ronne

Named after Edith Ronne, the first American woman to set foot on this southern continent, the Ronne Ice Shelf is tucked just to the East of the Antarctic Peninsula on the backside of the Transantarctic Mountains. With an area measured at 422,000 square kms, this is the second largest ice shelf in Antarctica. This vast… read more

by |November 8, 2012
Sea Ice on the left, touching up against an ice shelf along West Antarctica. (Photo from the camera in the belly of the plane). The plane is flying at ~1500 ft. of elevation - the estimated field of view is ~450 meters.

The ‘Skinny’ on Antarctic Sea Ice

One piece of our IceBridge mission focuses on sea ice here in the south. Sea ice in the northern regions has been reducing at dramatic rates over the last decade, setting a new record just this year, but the story in the south is not so clear. In fact, there has been a buzz that… read more

by |November 1, 2012
Shackleton Ridge bordering the Recovery Ice Stream East Antarctica. (Photo M. Studinger, NASA)

A Recovery Mission

Recovery Glacier is a section of Antarctic ice that lies east of the peninsular arm of West Antarctica, tucked behind the Transantarctic Mountains, a dividing line that separates west from east. We know from satellite data that Recovery and its tributaries have a deep reach, stretching well inland. But there is a lot we don’t know about Recovery because the remoteness of the area has limited the number of surveys.

by |October 29, 2012
Snow blowing off the ice

Launching the Season with a Key Mission – IceBridge Antarctica 2012

This month, IceBridge Antarctica resumes. The crews have spent the last few weeks in Palmdale, where the DC8 is based, for instrument installation and test flights prior to our move down to Punta Arenas, our home base for IceBridge Antarctica.

by |October 18, 2012
Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica

Monitoring Antarctica’s Changing Glaciers – No Longer Like ‘Watching Paint Dry’

By Kirsty Tinto & Mike Wolovick As little as a few decades ago you could ask a scientist what it was like to monitor the changing ice in Antarctica and the response might have been “Like watching paint dry” — seemingly no change, with no big surprises and not too exciting. Well times have changed…. read more

by |November 8, 2011
Shadow of the DC-8 on Antarctic ice

The Multiple Faces of Antarctic Ice

Kirsty Tinto joins Operation IceBridge on two flights over the Amundsen Sea and past Thwaites Glacier to survey the Getz and the Dotson ice shelves.

by |November 20, 2010
DC-8 plane outfitted for measuring the ice

Measuring the Ice From a Bird’s Eye View!

Operation IceBridge Antarctica ramps up for a second year of ice surveys. Originating from Chile, a series of airborne missions will be flown almost daily from the airbase in Punta Arenas.

by |October 22, 2010

Four Times Around the World in 40 Days

For the first time in more than 40 days, the nose of the NASA DC-8 is pointing north after taking off from Punta Arenas airport. We have completed our Antarctic survey flights and are heading back home to Palmdale, California. But before we start climbing to cruising altitude we are flying at 300 ft above the Strait of Magellan just outside Punta Arenas to collect atmospheric chemistry data […]

by |November 24, 2009

A Breathtaking But Fragile Landscape

Michael Studinger, Instrument Co-Principal Investigator, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: PUNTA ARENAS, Chile–The weather forecast for our survey over the Larsen C Ice Shelf looks good. Given the difficult weather over the past couple of days this is a welcome change. After studying satellite images and computer models and talking to the meteorologist at the Punta Arenas… read more

by |November 17, 2009