Department of Earth Sciences

GAP (Greenland Analogue Project)

Project description

The Greenland Analogue Project – GAP – is a multilateral research project on Greenland's west coast (east of Kangerlussuaq). The aim is to improve the current understanding of how an ice sheet affects the groundwater flow and water chemistry around a deep geological repository in crystalline bedrock during glacial periods and with the presence of permafrost. Researchers from universities and geological surveys in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are studying the ice sheet and are drilling through the ice and in the bedrock at the ice edge.

The Ice and Climate team is participating in the Sub-project A (SPA): Ice sheet hydrology and groundwater formation

The overall focus with the SPA studies are to make indirect observations of the properties of the hydrological system at the base of the ice sheet, and to study what parts of the ice sheet contribute water for recharge into the bedrock. The latter includes quantification of surface water production and how the water is routed from the surface to the base of the ice. This will be done through studies of ice velocity variations and surface meltwater production. Main activities within SPA involve the installation and monitoring of GPS receivers and automatic weather stations on the ice sheet, and air borne/ and ground-based radar studies.

SPA aims at improving the understanding of ice sheet hydrology in order to assess how an ice sheet impacts groundwater circulation and chemistry around a deep geological repository. The data collected in SPA will be utilised in numerical ice sheet flow and hydrological modelling. It is recognized that additional field observations are needed in order to verify the conceptual models and modelling assumptions that are being used by the various waste management organizations. The field investigations will be carried out during 2009-2012 (needs to be uppdated).

Contact: Rickard PetterssonKatrin Lindbäck

Greenland Analogue Project (external webpage)

Photos from fieldwork