By now, the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) team has probably begun inching along the first 60 miles of the GrIT traverse route, scouting safe passage for the tractors and sleds that will embark in mid-April for Summit Station. GrIT mechanic / equipment operator (/photographer) Robin Davies sent photos explaining how the team finds and marks hidden hazards in the tumbly ice that is the transition from land to ice sheet proper. Ride along.
The Greenland Inland Traverse, a collaboration between the National Science Foundation (NSF), CH2M HILL Polar Services, and Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratories, is funded by the NSF's Office of Polar Programs. The 2010 spring traverse has several foci: find a safe route to Summit Station that may reduce logistical and other impacts of conducting research there; provide a research platform for scientists conducting field work in Greenland; optimize mobility by focusing on the sled/snow interface. For more on GrIT, click here.