The Leverhulme Trust funded project (2010-13) led by Dr Kirk Martinez (Electronics and Computer Science) and Prof Jane K. Hart (Geography) will develop the innovative Glacsweb wireless probes to understand glacial processes at Skalafellsjökull, Iceland.

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) failed to predict the recent dramatic break-up of the Greenland ice sheet. One of the contributing factors is that basal boundary conditions of glaciers remain one of the key uncertainties in modelling glaciers and ice sheets. Until recently it was assumed that glaciers flowed slowly and continuously, but there is a growing body of evidence that glacier movement can be episodic, and can be modelled in a similar way to earth-quakes as stick-slip motion.
We plan to use an accurate (differential) GPS and accelerometers on the glacier surface to measure the “slip” and use an improved version of the multisensor Glacsweb probes within the ice and till (glacial sediment) to measure the “stick” phase. The project aims to deploy a long-term sensor network using the latest technology available. The post will involve the design and construction of the next generation wireless sensor network system, building upon the Glacsweb systems.

The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the First Viscount Leverhulme with the instruction that its resources should be used to support “scholarships for the purposes of research and education.” We are honoured to be sponsored by the Trust and have used the funding to advance the science as well as boost our education activities.