The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project is an integrative study of ice sheet stability and subglacial geobiology in West Antarctica, funded in 2009 by the Antarctic Integrated System Science Program of National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs, Antarctic Division. There are 13 Principal Investigators (PIs) at eight different US Institutions, with additional US and International collaborators.
Antarctic field work began in austral summer 2010/11, and continues through the 2013/14 season.
The study area is the downstream part of the Whillans Ice Stream on the Siple Coast, specifically Subglacial Lake Whillans and the grounding zone towards which the lake discharges.
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Research will be conducted through three complementary projects, each consisting of multiple collaborative grants:
- GBASE: Geomicrobiology of Antarctic Subglacial Environment (NSF grants #0838933, 0838896, 0838941)
- LISSARD: Lake and Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (NSF grants #0839142, 0839059, 0838885, 0838855, 0838763)
- RAGES: Robotic Access to Grounding-zones for Exploration and Science (NSF grants #0839107, 0838947, 0838854, 0838764)
Additionally, there are two subsequent grants associated with WISSARD:
- Investigating (Un)Stable Sliding of Whillians Ice Stream and Subglacial Water Dynamics Using Borehole Seismology (NSF grant #1043784)
- Micro-Submersible Lake Exploration Device (MSLED) - Development of first generation propelled slim-hole device for subglacial lake (& aquatic enviornments ) exploration (NSF grant #1142123)
Learn more about personnel working on the WISSARD project.