Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Field observation in Bowdoin Glacier, northwestern Greenland

ArCS Research Theme 2 "Variations in the ice sheet, glaciers, ocean and environment in the Greenland region" studies interaction between the Greenland ice sheet and the ocean. Every summer since 2012, we have carried out field observations around Qaanaaq village in northwestern Greenland. This year in 2019, we went to Bowdoin Glacier located 30 km northeast from Qaanaaq from 1st to 15th July. Field data from glaciers in this region are sparse because of poor accessibility to Qaanaaq area and difficulty in field activity on crevassed ice surface. With this background, we continue glacial field observation to investigate recent changes in glacier flow and their mechanism.

The field observation was carried out in collaboration with 4 researchers from ETH Zurich. ETH team measured the glacier surface elevation using UAVs and measured crevasse opening using GPS's installed near the calving front.

ArCS research group performed more detailed observations of ice thickness with ice radar and continuous GPS measurement for flow velocity. The aim of the collaboration of Japanese and Swiss research teams is to better understand glacier changes and their mechanism based on various observations.

We are exciting about the data obtained by the intensive two-week field campaign at Bowdoin Glacier.

Izumi Asaji (Hokkaido University)

Ice front of Bowdoin Glacier captured by a helicopter.

Swiss team uses a drone to measure the glacier surface elevation.

Ice thickness measurements using ice radar.

Observation team are:
Shin Sugiyama, Evgeny Podolsky, Izumi Asaji, Ken Kondo

Other posts of Qaanaaq observation
- Field observation in Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland (From Qaanaaq 1)
- Field campaign in Bowdoin Glacier, Greenland (From Qaanaaq 2)
- Oceanographic observation in the Bowdoin fjord near Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland (From Qaanaaq 3)
- Workshop with Qaanaaq village people (from Qaanaaq 4)

- Research expedition on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 1 - Maintenance of Auto Weather Station -
- Research expedition on the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 2 - Geophysical survey at Bowdoin Glacier, northwest Greenland (6-17 July 2017) -
- Workshop with Qaanaaq village people
- Ocean observations in Bowdoin Fjord, Northwest Greenland

- Ice cap and outlet stream observations in Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland
- Ocean measurements in Inglefield Fjord and workshop with the residents of Qeqertat Village in Greenland

- Field observations of surface mass balance and meltwater discharge on Qaanaaq Ice Cap, northwestern Greenland