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EGRIP

The East Greenland Ice core Project (EGRIP) site is an international field camp 200 km from the ice divide. The project unites scientists from Greenland, Denmark, the United States, Germany, Norway, and Japan to characterize ice flow dynamics of the North East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS). On the Greenland coast, fast-flowing ice streams discharge into the ocean, contributing to almost half the loss of Greenland’s ice sheet mass. Many of these streams have doubled their rates of flow in the last decade. For example, the North East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS) begins on the ice divide and reaches velocities of over 100 meters per year. The biggest ice stream begins at the central ice divide and cuts through the ice sheet in a wedge shape, feeding into the ocean through three large ice streams in northeast Greenland (Nioghalvfjerds isstrømmen, Zachariae isbræ, and Storstrømmen).

An international, Danish-led team of scientists are working at the EGRIP site for a five-year field season to make borehole observations and harvest an ice core from a region with active NEGIS flow. The ice core will span the length of the ice sheet down to bedrock, approximately 2550 meters total. Data from this work provide better characterizations of NEGIS flow dynamics and improve understanding of ice mass loss from similar Greenland ice streams. Incorporating this data into larger ice sheet models for Greenland better constrains predictions of ice mass loss and improves estimates sea level rise.  NSF funded researchers may access the Danish-led team as the NSF supports the camp via coordination of Air National Guard flights and can thus negotiate quid pro quo support.  Through this international collaboration, NSF funded researchers may gain access to work at the station itself or use it as a jumping off place to access remote areas of the ice sheet by either traverse or fixed wing air charters. 

Two people standing in snow
Photo by: Grey Davis