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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: A tale of two glaciers: using web connected RTK GPS, drones and remote sensing to monitor rapid glacier retreat of two contrasting Icelandic glaciers.

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We use the unique web connected real-time GPS (RTK dGPS) system to measure the velocity of two adjacent glaciers, combined with a UAV survey of the glacier foreland to understand the nature and rate of glacier retreat.

Funding source: National Geographic Society
Awarded amount: £37,190
Start date: 1/7/2018
End date: 30/06/2020

This is a National Geographic funded study of the retreat of two adjacent glaciers in Iceland, Fjallsjökull and Breiðamerkurjökull. Those two glaciers are retreating at different rates and both have rapidly growing lakes, which threaten to cover the whole glacier front, and affect the stability of the glacier. We use the most recent technological developments to record and understand these changes during this time of rapid climate change. i) What is controlling glacier velocity? ii) what is the rate of lake growth? ii) how is the lake growth affecting ice retreat rate? and, iv) can we record in detail but shrinking terrestrial marginal geomorphology before it is submerged?

This includes a unique web connected real-time GPS (RTK dGPS) system which will be installed in different parts of the glaciers, along with a ground penetrating radar (GPR) study to understand water content. We will use drone photography to survey the glacier and foreland, and will install time-lapse cameras to visually record changes.

 

Related research groups

Landscape Dynamics and Ecology (LDE)
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