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Glaciological research, Lapland, Arctic Sweden – 2009Alessio Gusmeroli

Alessandro Gusmeroli, a 24 year-old postgraduate student at the Glaciology Group at Swansea University is planning to conduct an expedition in the Kebnekaise massif in Lapland, Arctic Sweden. Kebnekaise is Sweden’s highest mountain at 2,103 metres above sea level. The field research, to be conducted in April 2009, involves the development of innovative measurement techniques and acquisition of geophysical data to measure ice properties of Storglaciaren, one of the best studied glaciers in the world.

Alessandro, an Italian national with extensive winter mountaineering experience, received 1,000 funding from the JWCT in October 2008 for expedition travel and accommodation costs at Tarfala research station as well as shipping of equipment for his expedition.

Alessandro informed the JWCT that “the data collected from this expedition will provide a significant step forward in several important glaciological topics such as glacier ice flow and response of ice masses to climatic changes.” He hopes to publish these findings in scientific peer-reviewed journals on completion of his fieldwork.


August 2009

Alessio Gusmeroli sent the following update:

“I am in Arctic Sweden again, at the Tarfala Research Station. When I got back from the spring 2009 field season (which was partially funded by your generous support) I received the delighting news that a big proposal I wrote in collaboration with my supervisor has been successful. National Geographic gave us US$ 18,000 to undertake extensive drilling and borehole based glaciological and geophysical measurements on the same glacier, Storglaciaren. Fieldwork is going very well, it started on 8 July and I will be back in the UK on 9 September. We have been testing new experiments in two different areas of the glacier and I look forward to come back and put together this new dataset, together with the measurements we carried out in the spring. The techniques we are using are innovative and I hope to obtain a comprehensive picture which will then be used to understand the glacier response to climate change. Other good news is that the first paper of this research is now ready to be submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research (one of the world´s leading journal in Earth Sciences). I am now three weeks left and my plan is to move all the equipment to a third site, higher up in the glacier.

I attach the poster that is going to be presented by my supervisor, Professor Tavi Murray, at the British Branch meeting of the International Glaciological Society, which will be held in Sheffield on 2 September. The poster shows the figures and the main message of the paper I am going to submit to the Journal of Geophysical Research when I will be back from the field.”

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