Phd Title: Icequakes – Microseismicity in Rutford Ice Stream, West Antartica.
Supervisors: Prof. Bob White and Dr. Andy Smith (British Antarctic Survey)
The cryosphere stores about 75% of the worlds fresh water, the majority of this is held in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. These ice sheets discharge around 90% of their mass through fast-flowing glaciers and ice streams. Ice stream motion is dominated bybasal sliding and bed deformation, therefore understanding basal processes is essential in understanding the dynamics of ice sheets and in allowing future predictions of the ice sheet’s mass balance and contribution to global sea level rise.
Ice streams in Antarctica are generally several kilometres thick and therefore obtaining direct measurements at the base is both time consuming and challenging. Furthermore, such measurements are very localised giving information about a small area of the glacier bed only. The use of geophysical techniques can give images and physical properties of much larger areas in a non-invasive manner.
Passive microseismic monitoring is a technique used to record the natural seismic emissions from glaciers. It provides a record of the temporal and spatial seismicity associated with ice movement. Unlike active seismic or radar surveys the seismic signals recorded are a direct result of ice movement and therefore can be interpreted to give information about basal conditions, movement and physical properties of the ice.
NEWS STORY: Measuring icequakes
News 28 August, 2013
Interview on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: