ROSETTA-Ice is a multi-institution investigation of the geology, glaciology and oceanography of the Ross Embayment and Ross Ice Shelf, funded by the Antarctic Integrated System Science (AIS) program at the US National Science Foundation and the George and Betty Moore Foundation. The primary goal is to map the geologic and glaciological structure of the region using the ICEPOD system mounted on Air National Guard C-130 aircraft flying a grid over the Ross Ice Shelf. This system provides information on gravity and magnetics (providing an estimate of sub-ice-shelf seabed bathymetry), and ice shelf structure (surface height, ice thickness, basal reflectivity, and near-surface layers). Flights were conducted in late 2015 and additional lines will be flown in late 2016. In the second field year, the ROSETTA-Ice team intends to deploy six profiling ocean floats to measure the ocean properties near the Ross Ice Shelf.
ESR’s primary contribution to this program is to use new bathymetry and ice-shelf draft from ROSETTA-Ice to investigate, with coupled ocean/ice models, the sensitivity of ice-shelf melting to potential changes in ocean circulation as climate changes. ESR personnel also contribute to analyses of ice-shelf structure obtained from the ice-penetrating radar and laser altimeter systems on ICEPOD.