Scientists from UK are travelling to Greenland this week to conduct trials of new sensors that provide readings under thick ice sheets up to 2kms under the surface. The instruments will provide valuable readings regarding the way glaciers are sliding towards the ocean.
Named Cryoeggs, this instrument will report the behavior of melt-waters under the ice sheets. This water lubricates the glacier flow and under warm conditions, can appreciate the discharge of chunks of ice into the ocean. This phenomenon could potentials increase the sea levels up to 7m, if there is a meltdown of all the ice in Greenland. The primary concern behind this study is to arrive at a time limit for this to occur.
Dr. Liz Bagshaw stated that, the models were successfully providing a detailed picture of the events that would happen in the future. Yet these data are practically useless without the ice sheets under Greenland. Previously some information was received from cabled instruments and boreholes. Detailed information still stands pending.
The Cryoegg was a 1.2kg instrument that houses electronics of three distinct sensors for the measurement of conductivity, temperature and pressure. It also consists of radio frequency to transmit data to the surface. The receiving antennas are framed on a children’s frame for climbing. Temperature is an important parameter of measurement under the surface which reports about the change under the surface. Conductivity and pressure give scientists valuable information regarding the time length and the evenness of the water under the thick ice sheets.
Dr. Bigshaw adds that the information about the meltdown water can help formulate a valuable behavior model for Ice Sheets. The Cryoeggs will be deployed in a North-eastern Greenland EGRIP site. Here 2.5km deep bores are being dug to receive sufficient information about the bottom of the ice sheets.
Scientists have been making attempts to gather valuable information regarding the movement of Glaciers in Greenland for over a decade.