Ice Bridge Archives - Page 2 of 2 - State of the Planet

Ghost Ice Shelves

Nick Frearson, Gravimeter Instrument Team, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: PUNTA ARENAS, Chile–Not all rides in the DC-8 are smooth and effortless. Our flight down the Thwaites Glacier was a race against weather, with the stomach-churning quality of a carnival ride. Both the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers flow into the Amundsen Sea. This section of Antarctica,… read more

by |November 5, 2009

At Home Floating Over Antarctica

Nick Frearson, Gravimeter Instrument Team, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: PUNTA ARENAS, Chile–Skimming across the Weddell Sea at 250 miles per hour I am finally on the way to Antarctica. Even though my visit to the white continent will be at a height of 1500 ft I still feel a sense of ‘homecoming’, as if I am… read more

by |October 28, 2009

Over Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

PUNTA ARENAS, Chile–After flying for several hours over a windswept Southern Ocean, the mission director announces that we will be slowly descending towards Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Just below are the Hudson Mountains, a small group of extinct volcanoes poking through the ice. As we approach our survey area, John Sonntag from NASA’s flight facility… read more

by |October 28, 2009

Night Watchman

Nick Frearson, Gravimeter Instrument Team, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: PUNTA ARENAS, Chile–I have become a night watchman of sorts. The gravimeter we’re using in our flights over Antarctica must remain powered at all times, so between flights I hole up in the old terminal next to the aircraft watching, …and watching. We won’t be on the… read more

by |October 20, 2009

Test Flight

Nick Frearson, Gravimeter Instrument Team, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: The flight engineer ticks off instruments over the intercom. “LVIS, ready.” “Gravity, ready.” “DACOM, ready.” We are about to take the DC-8 on its first test flight before Antarctica. The pilots, clipped and professional, have just described the day’s flight plans and the plane is bustling with… read more

by |October 12, 2009

Thinking on Your Feet on the Ice

Nick Frearson, Gravimeter Instrument Team, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: I’m a senior engineer at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, and my role in Operation Ice Bridge is to work with the gravimeter. This instrument can see beneath ice sheets into the water and bedrock below to reveal the ice sheet’s hidden contours – critical information… read more

by |September 30, 2009

A New Way to Experience Antarctica

Michael Studinger, Instrument Co-Principal Investigator, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: The scale and style of Operation Ice Bridge will be a new experience for me. I’ve been involved in airborne research for more than a decade using ice-penetrating radar systems, airborne laser scanning, gravity and magnetics to learn more about the polar ice caps and how they… read more

by |September 29, 2009