Chasing Icebergs:
GPS iceberg measurement

Map of Chasing Iceberg data collection
Map showing Greenland iceberg movement with GPS tracking (courtesy Kristin Schild)

Haystack works with the University of Oregon and collaborators on a project called Chasing Icebergs.

The goal of Chasing Icebergs is to better understand iceberg decay processes and quantifying the effect of meltwater fluxes on ocean circulation around Greenland. To this effect, Haystack developed an autonomous Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) iceberg system to obtain continuous geodetic-quality observations on drifting icebergs. (GNSS is a general term to describe satellite constellations used for geo-spatial positioning, navigating, and timing.)

In summer 2017, four Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers were successfully deployed for a week of continuous observations on two icebergs in Sermilik Fjord, near Helheim Glacier in East Greenland, resulting in the first direct detection and quantification of iceberg melt using GPS systems.

In summer 2018, eight GPS receiving systems were deployed, again in Sermilik Fjord, to study the spatio-temporal variability of iceberg melt and meltwater fluxes with high-temporal resolution (see map with iceberg tracking). 

Three units were recently deployed on a Sermilik Fjord iceberg and are currently collecting data.