Antarctica 2003-2004: Tides
The purpose of this work was to investigate how the rise and fall of the ocean tide influences ice stream flow through a joint Penn State/NASA-GSFC/NASA-JPL project. In October 2003, Ian Joughin (then at JPL), Bob Bindschadler (GSFC), Don Voigt (Penn State), and Sarah Das (WHOI) traveled to Siple Dome, Antarctica.
From there they flew daily via a twin otter aircraft to install GPS receivers and seismometers on the major Siple Coast Ice Streams: Mercer, Whillans, Kamb, Bindschadler, and MacAyeal. These instruments recorded data successfully for several weeks before Don Voigt returned with a team of Penn State Graduate Students in January 2004 to retrieve them. These data revealed that the tide induces strong stick-slip motion (earthquake like starts and stops) on Whillans Ice Stream and more cyclical variation on the ice streams.
Buildings at Willy (Williams) Field, Antarctica
Willy Field located on the McMurdo Ice Shelf is the principal runway for ski-equipped LC-130 flights originating from McMurdo to other parts of Antarctica.