Title of Presentation: A Cryospheric Sensor Web use case on a Small Temperate Glacier

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Matt Heavner

Organization of Primary Author: University of Alaska Southeast

Co-Authors: DR Fatland, E Hood, C Connor

Abstract: As part of the Southeast Alaska Telecommunications and Monitoring for Science, Education and Research (SEAMONSTER) project we are establishing a sensor web to monitor the hydrology and mass balance of the 11 square km Lemon Glacier near Juneau, Alaska. We have installed climate stations, one on a ridge above the glacier and a second 3 km below the terminus. An in-situ water quality sonde measures water temperature, conductivity, turbidity, pH, and dissolved oxygen continuously in Lemon Creek, the proglacial stream draining the glacier. In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey maintains a stream gauging station at the location of the sonde. To monitor outburst flood events, we have installed a pressure transducer to monitor stage in a supra glacial lake that forms annually in the spring and early summer and drains in the late summer. A communication system allows data from all of these sensors to be transmitted to our lab at the University of Alaska Southeast in real-time and throughout the sensor web.

The data collected via the SEAMONSTER sensor web is being used for a variety of applications. Data from the climate stations is being used in conjunction with a temperature-index ice and snow melt model and a digital elevation model to model runoff from the Lemon Glacier and evaluate the glacial contribution to stream flow in the upper Lemon Creek watershed. Water quality data are being used to assess the impact of glacial runoff on the physiochemical quality of Lemon Creek across the glacial melt season. Stage data from the supra glacial lake are being used in conjunction with the modeled glacial runoff and water quality data to evaluate the magnitude of the annual glacial lake outburst flood and its impact on water quality in Lemon Creek.

Public outreach is an integral component of our project and we are developing database access and visualization tools that will allow data to be displayed on the web in real-time. In particular, we have developed preliminary user interfaces that allow the data from the sensor web to be displayed in a virtual earth environment such as Google Earth.

The sensor web technology being developed through the Advanced Information Systems Technology of the Earth Science Technology Office of NASA is being demonstrated in this application which directly addresses the linkage between climate induced glacier changes and the impacts on watershed and primary productivity in marine near-shore ecosystems.