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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Acoustic monitoring of ice-loss processes in Kongsfjorden

Awarded: NOK 99,999

We propose a field campaign in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, with focus on the bays of one or more tidewater glaciers in this region (likely Kronebreen), in September 2023. We will study the acoustics of ice-loss processes in these glaciers, especially submarine glacier melting whose contribution to ice-loss is still yet to be quantified accurately. While we have studied the ice-loss processes earlier in Hornsund fjord, Svalbard, and are working towards developing acoustic monitoring techniques for calving and melting, our techniques need to be tested in other similar locations, which we aim to do in this campaign. We will - study the spatial variability of sound in the glacial bay by deploying a hydrophone array developed by NUS, and characterize the acoustic field and its relation to melt rates - Study the region near the terminus using a surface-vehicle, likely one developed by Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS), NTNU and collaborators - Sense the surface-ice variability in the bay, using cameras, and possibly aerial drones developed by NTNU. AMOS, NTNU has developed expertise in robotics field campaigns in Kongsfjorden, whereas we NUS have developed expertise in acoustic monitoring in a different region of Svalbard. This study will synergize the research interests of the two organizations, capitalizing on our complementary strengths to develop an impactful Arctic melt monitoring technique. AMOS has specific interest in using robotics for scientific studies, and specifically to understanding mixing processes at water-boundary layers such as the one we are exploring. NTNU’s USV Apherusa is the kind of enabling technology needed to take this impactful study to the next stage. Thus, this NUS-NTNU collaborative campaign on acoustic monitoring in Kongsfjorden is a perfect opportunity to test the passive acoustic monitoring technique at a location different than the ones already tried

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum