Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

A field report from EGRIP camp

We have participated since last year in East Greenland Ice-Core Project (EGRIP), which aims to retrieve an ice core from Greenland Ice Sheet for better understanding of dynamics of the ice sheet and climate in Greenland. This project is jointly conducted by  several nations, and 7 persons are involved from Japan in 2017 (a report is in 2016 available here). I have been staying on the ice sheet since June and will stay until August to analyze microstructure of the ice core and to sample snow and aerosol near the camp.

We analyze microstructure of ice because it is a clue for estimating stress conditions in ice sheet, which help us to better understand flow mechanisms and mass balance of ice sheets. This project is conducted at the site where the ice flow is especially fast in Greenland, therefore, the microstructural analyses of the ice core will be peculiarly important. We process the ice core samples and measure crystal grain size/shape/orientations in a trench dug under surface snow. 

Not only the ice core, but also snow and aerosol are important because accumulation of snow is directly related to ice sheet mass balance, the chemical/dust components are proxies of climate, as examples. Japanese scientists carry out field studies at  snow pits and sample surface snow and aerosol. Dr. Fumio Nakazawa (National Institute of Polar Research, Japan) and I observed the snow layers and sampled the snow in the two snow pits which we dug. We will continue to sample surface snow and aerosol during my stay. The samples will be analyzed later in Japan. 

The life on the ice sheet fascinates me every day: microstructural analyses of ice core samples and discussions on the new results with international colleges, different features of snow and frost day by day. It is possible only on ice, and with motivated   people. The microstructural analyses and the sampling continue until August, keeping me inspired.

Wataru Shigeyama(The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, a collaborator of theme 2)

Science trench (by reporter)

An ice core sample for microstructural analysis (by reporter)

German colleges and reporter in front of analytical instrument for microstructure of ice (by Dr. Bo Vinther)

A snow pit study with Dr. Fumio Nakazawa (National Institute of Polar Research, Japan) (by Dr. Anders Svensson)

Reporter going sampling snow (by Mr. Jan Eichler)

A microscopic image of surface snow (by reporter)