The Ross Ice Shelf Geophysical and Glaciological Survey (RIGGS): Introduction and summary of measurements performed

  1. Charles R. Bentley and
  2. Dennis E. Hayes
  1. Charles R. Bentley

Published Online: 16 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR042p0001

The Ross Ice Shelf: Glaciology and Geophysics

The Ross Ice Shelf: Glaciology and Geophysics

How to Cite

Bentley, C. R. (1990) The Ross Ice Shelf Geophysical and Glaciological Survey (RIGGS): Introduction and summary of measurements performed, in The Ross Ice Shelf: Glaciology and Geophysics (eds C. R. Bentley and D. E. Hayes), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR042p0001

Author Information

  1. Geophysical and Polar Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1990

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901954

Online ISBN: 9781118664735

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • Airborne radar sounding;
  • Little America;
  • The Ross Ice Shelf Geophysical and Glaciological Survey (RIGGS);
  • Ross Ice Shelf Project (RISP);
  • Seismograph Service Corporation seismic system;
  • Stations and measurements

Summary

By the end of the 1960's the Ross Ice Shelf was already one of the better explored regions in Antarctica, yet glaciological and geophysical measurements had been limited largely to studies at Little America, the International Geophysical Year traverse loop around the shelf, and an L-shaped movement survey. Consequently, when plans were being made for drilling an access hole to the ocean beneath the interior of the shelf, it was decided to conduct an airlifted survey covering the entire ice shelf: the Ross Ice Shelf Geophysical and Glaciological Survey (RIGGS). Measurements of many kinds were carried out at the 200 RIGGS stations over the 5-year period 1973–1978. Quantities determined included accumulation rate, strain rate, ice thickness, subglacial water depth, and gravity at 75–95% of the sites; temperatures and movement rate at 40–50% of the sites; seismic and radio wave velocities and electrical resistivities at 10–20 sites; and radar polarization at six sites. More extensive programs, including core drilling to 50–100 m, tidal-gravity recording, and long seismic refraction profiles to investigate submarine geologic structure, were carried out at 10 primary and supplementary base camps. In addition, 13,500 km of airborne radar sounding were completed. Detailed seasonal tabulations of the types and locations of measurements are presented in this paper, along with a brief season-by-season narrative.