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Petermann 2015 is an international research expedition to the area around the Petermann glacier in northwestern Greenland. The Swedish icebreaker Oden will serve as the platform for the research carried out in the sea, on the glacier and on land.

The purpose of the project is to collect multibeam bathymetry and sub-bottom profile information along the western continental shelf of Greenland in order to characterize the shape of the seafloor and uppermost sediment properties. The main goal is to increase our understanding about potential pathways of relative warmer water influx towards Greenland’s many outlet glaciers. A program involving both seismic data aquistion, multibeam mapping, coring and seismic reflection profiling is planned in order to study the past behaviour of the Petermann Glacier.

Scientific Questions

Petermann Glacier is connected to the inland ice through an ancient (perhaps pre-glacial) channel system, which extends from Petermann Fjord, deep into the inland ice along a pathway near the NEEM and NGRIP ice cores. This implies that the expedition with icebreaker Oden, targeting the longer-term marine history of the Petermann system, is constrained near its inland-ice source by well published deep ice-core data.

The expedition will examine the relatively unexplored outlet end of this large system, by documenting changes in the grounded Petermann Glacier, its buttressing ice shelf, and ocean conditions since the end of the last glacial period.

You can follow the expedition on the Petermann’s Glacial History Blog site and on the following Twitter accounts: