Melting at Thwaites grounding zone and its control on sea level (MELT)
MELT is an ice-based project to understand how warm waters are affecting the Thwaites Glacier at the grounding line – the point where the glacier goes afloat to become ice shelf. This will allow the glacier’s potential sea-level contribution to be more accurately predicted.
MELT Team at WAIS Divide with Icefin robotic underwater vehicle
Scientists from the MELT project are in Antarctica this field season. The team aims to use autonomous sensors, vehicles (including Icefin), radar, and moorings to monitor the Thwaites ice shelf and grounding line. The team keeps a blog about the Icefin autonomous underwater vehicle: a small, long-range, deep-water, under-ice, robotic oceanographer.
Instrument Highlight: Phase-sensitive radar (ApRES), Filchner Ice Shelf
Research teams use phase-sensitive radars for determining ice shelf basal melt rates. Data is used to enhance climate models.
Writer Douglas Fox accompanied ITGC researchers into the field in 2019/2020, where he witnessed TARSAN scientists Erin Pettit, Ted Scambos, MELT scientist Britney Schmidt, and others drill into the Thwaites Glacier ice she