Winberry and Huerta awarded $2.5 million NSF grant

Paul Winberry and Audrey Huerta have been awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation to develop seismic instrumentation suitable for deployment in remote ice covered environments such as Alaska, Greenland, and Antarctica. The grant of $2.5 Million will enable Huerta and Winberry to collaborate with the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) to develop the new sensors, which are roughly 50 pounds lighter and use less energy than seismometers currently in use in these environments.

Ultimately they will deploy 125 of these seismometers in Antartica to study the ice dynamics and geologic history of the region. The sensors will be developed over the next 2 years and will be deployed during future research expeditions by Winberry, Huerta, and other U.S. investigators over the 15 year life span of the instrumentation.

Audrey studies the geology beneath the ice, and uses the seismographic record to make an image of the geologic features hidden beneath the massive sheets of ice. For example, during one of her excursions Audrey and her colleagues found evidence of a sub-ice volcano. Part of Paul's research in Antarctica has focused on the temperature of the earth beneath the ice. He notes, "Some areas are surprisingly warm, which can accelerate melting rates at the bottom of ice sheets."

Details are provided in the CWU press release