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pdf SCAR XXXI WP19a: Report on Proposed PPG SERCE-POLENET

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XXXI SCAR Delegates Meeting
9-11 August 2010, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Working Paper 19a
Agenda Item: 5.1
Posted/Revised: June 1
Person Responsible: Capra

Executive Summary

(to be discussed and modified during SCAR Business Meetings)

Title:  SERCE-POLENET (Solid Earth response and Cryosphere Evolution) - (POLar Earth observing NETwork)

Authors: Terry Wilson, Mirko Sheinert, Mike Willis, Tom James, Alessandro Capra

Introduction/ Background:  The goal of the SERCE programme is to improve the understanding of the interaction between solid earth, cryosphere and climate as a contribution to sea level change.

It will require the study of processes (geodynamics, tectonics, ice mass change,..) and of geophysical models.  We have to identify and develop key disciplinary and interdisciplinary components of a science programme aimed at advancing understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere.  This includes glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and ice mass change and the influence of solid earth parameters (heat flow, disposition of sediments) on ice sheet dynamics.

Observations will be the input for physical and geophysical modellers who will work on GIA, PGR models in order to furnish a good sea level change model between the integration of observations in Antarctica and global observation and /or models.

The considerable amount of data archived within the POLENET project is the base of the SERCE Programme.  GPS and seismic data are fundamental but other geophysical observations will also be used.

Important Issues or Factors:  SERCE-POLENET has the goal of improving understanding of the interaction between solid earth, cryosphere and climate as a contribution to sea level change.

Summarizing, GPS is used to measure rebound and with Seismology earth properties can be determined; those results improve “rebound” correction for spaceborne measurements of Ice Mass Change. This information is essential for sea level change predictions.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification:  Maintaining, and potentially augmenting, the remote autonomous POLENET infrastructure, as the International Polar Year (IPY) ends, that provides an international essential technological framework for Antarctic and Arctic science.

The sea level change prediction is an essential contribution to Antarctic science and global climate.

Fundamental for sea level change prediction is the Rebound estimation that should be studied principally through the knowledge of ice load history and geo-mechanical structure of the region.

Following a bi-polar approach, it is essential to extend the programme to the Arctic region.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes:

  • Extensive use of POLENET data infrastructure
  • GIA model optimization
  • Sea level change prediction


  • European Polar Board
  • International scientific institutions involved in space research in Antarctica: NASA, ESA, Canadian Space Agency.

Budget Implications:  US $10,000 for organising workshops and attending meetings; workshop with different WGs end of 2010 or 2011; joint meeting with Arctic researchers – IASC, SAON