Collaborative Research: Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit (ICECAPS)

PI Institute/Department Email
Bennartz, Ralf
U of Wisconsin, Madison
Walden, Von
Washington State University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Turner, David
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Shupe, Matthew
U of Colorado, Boulder, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
Funding Agency
Program Manager Funding Agency Email
McKnight, Dr. Diane
Meteorology and Climate\Atmospheric Radiation
Meteorology and Climate\Cloud Physics
Science Summary

In 2010, the observatory at Summit, Greenland, in the center of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), was expanded to include a comprehensive suite of cloud-atmosphere observing instruments including microwave and infrared spectrometers, cloud radar, depolarization lidar, ceilometer, precipitation sensor, sodar, and a twice-daily radiosonde program. This observing effort was termed ICECAPS (Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit). Continuation of the work was approved / funded late summer 2013 to allow for continuous operation, with moderate enhancements to include new precipitation measurements. Measurements from this expanded instrument suite will be used to derive critical baseline atmospheric data products including: Atmospheric State - tropospheric temperature, moisture, and wind profiles, Cloud Macrophysics - occurrence, vertical boundaries, temperature, Cloud Microphysics - phase, water content, and characteristic particle size, and Precipitation - type and rate. Together these products, when combined with similar ongoing measurements at Summit, can be used to study processes that impact the surface energy budget and precipitation at the site, as well as addressing questions related to atmospheric stability, cloud phase composition, and the persistence of stratiform clouds. It is further anticipated that these observations will continue to be used by a broad cross-section of the scientific community to promote understanding of GIS and Arctic climate, validate satellite observations, and evaluate model simulations. Graduate students play significant roles in most aspects of this project, gaining valuable experience with polar field work, operating instruments, and processing data. In addition, this research team has developed a unique education and outreach plan to work with students from local schools using simple, proxy instrumentation to help develop their understanding of atmospheric principles and observations, and to enhance the scientific curriculum in their schools via a wide range of outreach activities.

Logistics Summary

Researchers on this collaboration between Walden (1414314, WSU), Turner (1304692, U of OK), Shupe (1303879, CU) and Bennartz (1304544, UW-Madison) will continue work begun under NSF grant 0856773. Researchers will continue an intensive experiment to measure atmospheric properties at Summit with fieldwork running continuously from late summer 2013 through summer 2018. The suite of ICECAPS instruments was originally installed in 2010 and since then the project has been maintained by year-round science technician support and summer maintenance visits by the research team. During 2014- 2016, four to six members of the research team will deploy to Summit station for instrument support and upgrades. CPS will provide technician support at the station year-round. The CPS science technician will continue to monitor project instruments and oversee a twice daily radiosonde program. In subsequent years, a research team of four to five participants will travel to Summit Station each spring / summer to provide instrument support. In 2016 field team members will deploy in June to support instrument maintenance, upgrades and the Mobile Science Facility relocation. The scientists will reinstall the multi-angle snowflake camera, sent off-station for repairs, when it is shipped back to Summit mid-season. The group will stay for periods of several weeks to the entire month of June. Two additional researchers may visit Summit Station to troubleshoot and repair instrumentation if the Stirling cooler fails. CPS science technicians will continue to monitor project instruments and oversee the twice-daily radiosonde program year-round. In 2017, researchers will return to perform annual maintenance and instrument support activities as necessary. Planned activities include reinstallation of the MASC and Hotplate instruments and annual liquid nitrogen calibrations of the Microwave Radiometers. The Stirling cooler component will be closely monitored on the PAERI system as it is performing well but is beyond its expected lifecycle. A short notice deployment may be required if it were to fail. CPS will provide technician support at the station year-round, and the technicians will continue to monitor project instruments and oversee the twice-daily radiosonde program year-round.

CPS will provide Air National Guard (ANG) coordination for the field team and cargo; coordination of candidate screening, hiring, management, travel and accommodations for year-round science technician; science technical services; in-transit user days in Kangerlussuaq; access to the Summit Station infrastructure and services, relocation of the Mobile Science Facility; helium provision and shipment; liquid nitrogen provision and shipment; provision and shipment of radiosondes and balloons. The PIs will make all other arrangements and pay for them through their respective grants.

Season Field Site Date In Date Out #People
Greenland - Summit
Greenland - Summit
Greenland - Summit
Greenland - Summit
Greenland - Summit