24. September 2014

Hubbard Glacier Site Maintenance

Written by Adam LeWinter (CRREL)

Sometimes 1-day in Yakutat is all we need to get out to Hubbard Glacier for site maintenance. That’s exactly what Dave Finnegan and I did September 18th, on the tail-end of a week working up in Girdwood, AK testing our newly designed airborne LiDAR system. Arriving mid-day on the 18th, we immediately turned around and boarded a Yakutat Charter Boat Company boat piloted by Mark Sappington, and headed to Gilbert Point.

During the last visit in May 2014 our team cleared a safer, more stable path to the Gilbert Point station through the thick alders. Returning after the summer already the path is being reclaimed by nature, having grown over significantly. At the site we modified the Terminus Monitoring System’s battery voltage logging, modified the web camera software to transmit images to our new FTP server, and tightened down the myriad of bolts and nuts that inevitably loosen due to high winds buffeting the station. Overall, the station is solid and strong.

Next we visited the Haenke Island site, which also has held up nicely since the last visit. We made some modifications to the solar radiation sensor, and downloaded images from the Canon time-lapse camera.

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16. September 2013

Hubbard Glacier Update

Written by David Finnegan (CRREL)

Gilbert Point

The Automated Laser ranging system at Gilbert Point was replaced in late August with a new updated system. Researchers from CRREL, The National Snow and Ice Data Center (Boulder, Colorado) and the USGS Alaska Science Center (Anchorage) removed the previous laser scanning system and replaced it with an updated version of the system developed by CRREL. The previous system was dependent on a high-powered radio link to Haenke Island, which required significant power to operate. The new system utilizes a low-power two-way Iridium communication system that reduces overall power consumption and allows for increased data acquisition intervals (hourly). Furthermore, a realtime camera system has been installed at Gilbert Point to collect and transmit visible images every 3 hours and thermal images every 8 hours.

Haenke Island

The climate station at Haenke Island is damaged beyond repair and is scheduled for replacement. Inclement weather prohibited the team from replacing the system in August but the team will return in November to bring a new modern station online. The new system will also operate on the Iridium network versus the previous GOES system.

07. February 2012

Laser Ranging Update at Gilbert Point

Written by David Finnegan (CRREL)

The Laser ranging system at Gilbert Point is temporarily off-line until further notice. Due to damage which occurred last summer to the power system, a temporary power solution fitted in September has failed. At the current time plans to repair the system are tentative.

07. February 2012

Helheim Glacier climate station and satellite-linked cameras installed

Written by David Finnegan (CRREL)

In the Fall of 2011, researchers from the University of Maine (Dr. Gordon Hamilton) and CRREL worked to deploy a new automated climate station and two realtime Iridium web cameras at Helheim Glacier. All of these systems were deployed along the southern margin of the glacier to monitor climate, ice and pro-glacial activity. Due to a late deployment schedule a series of technical difficulties prevented the terminus camera from operating correctly. Furthermore, the climte station operated till December but has since become unavailable. Both of these issues will be repaired in the early spring

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28. August 2011

2011 Summer Activities at Hubbard Glacier

Written by David Finnegan (CRREL)

As the summer season comes to an end and the Hubbard Glacier terminus has begun its seasonal retreat, we are busy putting the finishing touches on an exciting season of activity. Hubbard advanced to within 70 m of Gilbert Point in July and showed signs of a more advanced position within Disenchantment Bay and Russell Fjord than in previous years. In terms of a closure, the advanced position of the glacier around Gilbert Point indicates that if a closure is to occur in the future the mechanism will be significantly different than previous closures (1986, 2002).

Researchers from CRREL, University of Maine, University of Kansas and the USGS Alaska Science Center have been monitoring the progress of Hubbard Glacier throughout the summer. In addition to the long-term monitoring systems activities included site visits to the glacier terminus, acquisition of high-resolution satellite imagery, seismic monitoring and on-ice GPS deployment to monitor ice seasonal ice velocities. We will continue to monitor the terminus dynamics at Gilbert Point as funding sources allow us to maintain the infrastructure as necessary.

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