Wednesday 31 July 2013

Glacier Monitoring at the Royal Society Summer Science Festival

Earlier this month BGS staff were involved in the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.  This year we featured our observation system and associated research on the Virkisj√∂kull glacier. With partners in Iceland and the UK BGS have been monitoring this glacier for several years. We are studying the glacier to better understand the rate of change occurring in glacier environments, which can largely be attributed to changes in our current climate conditions. The glacier observatory is monitoring how quickly the glacier is melting on a measurable scale to help predict the likely changes in glacier environments.

High resolution surveys are completed annually and the observatory uses a combination of unique measurements to accurately measure the changes in the glacier. Seismometers are used to capture ‘icequakes’, GPS units to measure ice flow and melting, stream sensors to measure outflow of meltwater at the surface, and boreholes to measure glacially-sourced groundwater flow.  

Our Ice in the Greenhouse stand at the RSSSE
Our staff Jez Everest, Brighid O Dochataigh, Tom Bradwell, Leanne Hughes, Alan McDonald, Lee Jones, Lauren Noakes, Paul Wilson, Paul Witney, John Stevenson, Gemma Nash and Sarah Nice did an outstanding job in explaining our research to the numerous visitors to the Royal Society exhibition. I would also like to thank Verity Flett our joint PhD student from Dundee University, Andrew Black a senior researcher at Dundee University and Sam Illingworth a NERC PhD student from Manchester University for giving up their time to come and help during the week.

Photos from the week can be found here.

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