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Research Experience for Undergraduates at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets in Ocean, Marine, and Polar Science 2014

Validation of the basal stress boundary utilizing Satellite Imagery along the George VI Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Majority of ice shelves are fed by inland glaciers. Together, an ice shelf and the glaciers feeding it can form a stable system, with the forces of outflow and back pressure balanced. Warmer temperatures can destabilize this system by increasing glacier flow speed and more dramatically by disintegrating the ice shelf. Without a shelf to slow its speed, the glacier accelerates. After the 2002 Larsen B Ice Shelf disintegration, nearby glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula accelerated up to eight times their original speed over the next 18 months. Similar losses of ice tongues in Greenland have caused speed-ups of two to three times the flow rate in just one year.
Rapid changes occurring in regions surrounding Antarctica are causing concern in the polar science community to research changes occurring in coastal zones over time. In this research, a study will be completed on the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula to as far as the Ross Ice shelf. The study will include a validation of the ASIAD BSB (ABSB) vs. the natural BSB (NBSB) along the selected region. The ASAID BSB was created by a team of researchers headed by NASA, with an aim of studying coastal deviations as it pertains to the mass balance of the entire continent. This point data file was aimed at creating a replica of the natural BSB. Landsat imagery will be used to detect changes occurring over time from approximately 20 years. The last major interest in the study will be documenting the deviations or incorrect placements of the ABSB vs NBSB.