East Greenland Ice-Core Project (EastGRIP) is a drilling project aiming to retrieve a deep ice core in North-East Greenland. The drilling site is on a dynamically active location, where the surface flow velocities are approx. ten times higher compared to previous deep ice core sites. It is located at the onset of the largest ice stream in Greenland (NEGIS - North-East Greenland ice stream). Ice streams are not very well represented in large scale ice sheet models, if not prescribed by inversion methods based on observed surface velocities. Their contribution to sea level projections is thus not very well constrained and a source of uncertainty. Three regimes can be identified which control the effectivity and fate of ice streams: (1) the ice front at the downstream end, particularly the ice-ocean interface at the floating tongue (2) the ice-bedrock interface and (3) the onset of the stream, where material needs to accelerate and converge in order to feed the stream sustainably. The EastGRIP ice core can contribute to understand regime (3) and will bring us further towards answering the question:
Which conditions of the ice sheet and which physical properties of the material ice help to initiate and sustain ice streams?
With our research in physical properties and deformation mechanisms in ice we will decipher the processes of ice flow and improve our understanding of its prediction.
EastGRIP project is both a logistic undertaking and a scientific collaboration of 12 nations among those Germany being a major partner. The logistics is coordinated by the Danish Centre for Ice and Climate.
For impressions (German) see: blogs.helmholtz.de/eisblog/category/groenland/eastgrip/