Siple Coast Subglacial Aquatic Environments: The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project

H. A. Fricker, R. Powell, J. Priscu, S. Tulaczyk, S. Anandakrishnan, B. Christner, D. Holland, H. Horgan, R. Jacobel, J. Mikucki, A. Mitchell, R. Scherer, J. Severinghaus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)

24 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project is a 6-year (2009–2015) integrative study of ice sheet stability and subglacial geobiology in West Antarctica, funded by the Antarctic Integrated System Science Program of National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, Antarctic Division. The overarching scientific objective of WISSARD is to assess the role of water beneath a West Antarctic Ice Stream in interlinked glaciological, geological, microbiological, geochemical, hydrological, and oceanographic systems. The WISSARD's important science questions relate to (1) the role that subglacial and ice shelf cavity waters and wet sediments play in ice stream dynamics and mass balance, with an eye on the possible future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and (2) the microbial metabolic and phylogenetic diversity in these subglacial environments. The study area is the downstream part of the Whillans Ice Stream on the Siple Coast, specifically Subglacial Lake Whillans and the part of the grounding zone across which it drains. In this chapter, we provide background on the motivation for the WISSARD project, detail the key scientific goals, and describe the new measurement tools and strategies under development that will provide the framework for conducting an unprecedented range of scientific observations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAntarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments
EditorsM. J. Siegert, M. C. Kennicutt II, R. A. Bindschadler
PublisherWiley
Pages199-219
Volume192
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Chapman Conference on the Exploration and Study of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments. American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C.
Publisher0

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