Continued Core Atmospheric and Snow Measurements at the Summit, Greenland Environmental Observatory (Neumann)

PI Institute/Department Email
Neumann, Thomas
National Aeronautical and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center
Funding Agency
Program Manager Funding Agency Email
Wagner, Dr. Thomas
Science Summary

This NASA award supports the continuation and expansion of long-term measurements of the Arctic atmosphere, snow, and other Earth system components at the Summit, Greenland, Environmental Observatory (GEOSummit). The original measurement program began in 2003. Year-round measurements with at least 10 years in duration are required to observe and quantify the roles of large-scale, multiyear oscillations in oceanic and atmospheric circulation (e.g., Arctic Oscillation), snow accumulation, firn densification, and ice flow effects. The "Broader Impacts" of these observations are numerous and include the potential to transform understanding of the role of natural and anthropogenic aerosols in climate forcing, to improve climate models and the prediction of future Arctic environmental change, provide ground calibration for satellite measurements of ice sheet elevation, and to enhance the interpretation of ice core records of paleo-environmental variability.

Logistics Summary

The researchers will study snow accumulation measured year-round at the Greenland Environmental Observatory at Summit Station (GEO Summit), an effort that continues measurement programs previously supported under PI McConnell (NSF grant 0856845). The project involves two staked arrays: the 121-stake (11 x 11) ‘bamboo forest’ near the station, commencing about 700 meters east of the Big House facility, which is measured weekly; and the 121-stake linear array for NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and ICESat-2 validation, commencing about 3,300 meters west of the Big House facility, which is measured monthly. The ICESat validation snow machine transect was started in 2006 along the satellite track of the laser altimeter and has been continued during the interim period between the end of the mission of the original ICESat in 2009 and the planned 2018 launch of ICESat-2. Results improve understanding of ice sheet elevation change and snow-water equivalencies. Beginning in 2016, Summit Station science technicians will collect snow accumulation values for comparison to measurements of ground and remote sensing instrumentation. In 2017, Co-PI Kelly Brunt will visit Summit in June to assess the existing ICESat survey line and procedures carried out by the science technicians. Snow machine training and use will be provided on-site to support her planned activities. Science technicians will coordinate with her and the GreenTracs traverse team to conduct the required surveys. Researchers may return in 2018, details are TBD.

CPS will provide science technician support including project task specific materials, communications equipment, snow machines, poly pod and shared use of UNAVCO GPS instrumentation. CPS will also provide KISS and Summit user days, and transportation via the Air National Guard logistics chain. NSF will recoup costs of this support via an interagency funds transfer NASA>NSF. All other logistics will be arranged and paid for by the research group from the grant.

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