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Solid Earth Response and influence on Cryospheric Evolution (SERCE)

The overarching objective of the Solid Earth Response and influence on Cryospheric Evolution (SERCE) scientific research programme is to:

Advance understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere to better constrain ice mass balance, ice dynamics and sea level change in a warming world.

This objective will be accomplished through integrated analysis and incorporation of geological, geodetic and geophysical measurements into models of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and ice sheet dynamics. The programme is designed to synthesize and integrate the extensive new geological and geophysical data sets obtained during and subsequent to the International Polar Year with modeling studies, in a timeframe to contribute to IPCC AR6.

More information about the SERCE goals and objectives can be found in the implementation plan.

Statement on Antarctic geodetic infrastructure: SERCE urges national agencies to expand and maintain existing geodetic infrastructure across Antarctica. The long-term deployment of geodetic infrastructure across Antarctica is required to measure three-dimensional Earth deformation and gravity fields. Datasets with high spatial resolution from sites operating continuously is especially critical in regions of low mantle viscosity and ongoing ice loading changes (e.g. West Antarctica and Antarctic Peninsula).

Statement on Antarctic seismic infrastructure: SERCE urges national agencies to support the spatially extensive and regionally targeted deployment of broadband seismometers across Antarctica. Spatially wide-spread observations are required to determine mantle and crustal properties, including rheology and geothermal heatflux.

Statement on data provision: SERCE strongly encourages the open and freely available provision of datasets relevant to its aims, notably seismic data relevant to sensing the interior properties of the solid Earth and geodetic data allowing measurements of solid Earth deformation or gravity field change. Where such datasets are not provided immediately upon collection we urge data collection agencies to provide metadata in an open repository. Example data and metadata repositories include the SCAR GNSS database (https://data1.geo.tu-dresden.de/scar/index.shtml), UNAVCO (www.unavco.org) and IRIS PASSCAL (http://www.passcal.nmt.edu)

SERCE publication acknowledgement: Where SERCE activities have contributed to thinking or ideas behind a research publication it is appropriate to acknowledge SCAR SERE, such as  “This research is a contribution to the SCAR SERCE program”. Please notify us of the paper by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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                                   logo SERCE

The Solid Earth Response and influence on Cryospheric Evolution (SERCE) scientific research programme aims to advance understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere to better constrain ice mass balance, ice dynamics and sea level change in a warming world. This objective will be accomplished through integrated analysis and incorporation of geological, geodetic and geophysical measurements into models of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and ice sheet dynamics.
 
The programme is designed to synthesize and integrate the extensive new geological and geophysical data sets obtained during and subsequent to the International Polar Year with modeling studies, in a timeframe to contribute to IPCC AR6. SERCE will provide the international collaborative framework and scientific leadership to investigate systems-scale solid earth – ice sheet interactions across Antarctica and relate these results to global earth system and geodynamic processes.
 
A series of expert workshops will produce synthetic science products based on extensive new geophysical data sets for Antarctica as well as improved data-modeling integration. Thematic science symposia and workshops, and ensuing published thematic journal issues, will propel the science of solid earth – cryosphere interactions beyond the current state of knowledge and contribute a body of new knowledge to the IPCC AR6 assessment.
 
The SERCE programme will conduct major efforts in capacity building, training and public outreach using complementary strategies to achieve technical capacity via information exchange, analytical capacity via training schools, engagement of new polar researchers via thematic science sessions, and public outreach via the world wide web. 
 
For more information about the goals and objectives of SERCE, take a look at the implementation plan.
 
 
 

Terms of Reference

SERCE will:

  1. Coordinate key disciplinary studies aimed at advancing understanding of the interactions between the solid earth and the cryosphere and implement expert workshops to bring researchers in these studies together to facilitate interdisciplinary outcomes.

  2. Communicate and coordinate with other international groups investigating solid earth – ice sheet interactions.

  3. Work with SCAR action/expert groups and research programmes to promote interdisciplinary science on ice sheet mass balance and sea level change, and new, interdisciplinary applications of geophysical data.

  4. Use the SCAR-IASC international framework to improve access to polar geodetic and geophysical data, and to provide an international framework for maintaining, and potentially augmenting, the remote autonomous observational infrastructure established by the POLENET consortium.

  5. Increase capacity through provision of technological ‘best practices’, open data access, and research training relevant to SERCE science.

 

Scientific objectives of the SERCE SRP include to:

  1. Integrate and synthesize geodetic observations obtained from the multinational POLENET geophysical network during IPY to obtain a crustal velocity field (vertical and horizontal) across the Antarctic continent.

  2. Integrate and synthesize seismological data obtained from the POLENET geophysical network together with airborne and in situ geophysical data to map Antarctic lithospheric and upper mantle structure and rheological properties and to model heat flux from the solid earth to the base of the ice sheets.

  3. Combine GPS vertical velocity fields with information on ice sheet histories from geological and glaciological information, to improve understanding of Antarctic ice sheet evolution from the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to the present – an outcome to be obtained through collaboration with the SCAR/IASC Ice Sheet Mass Balance (ISMASS) expert group.

  4. Foster GIA modeling capabilities to incorporate lateral heterogeneity in earth rheology.

  5. Develop improved models of glacial isostatic adjustment constrained by vertical crustal motion observations (objective 1), improved earth structure (objective 2), improved ice sheet history (objective 3), and next-generation models (objective 4).

  6. Improve the estimates of present-day ice mass balance obtained from satellite observations. Provision of improved constraints on the rates of gravitational change and crustal uplift due to GIA will remove one of the largest uncertainties in analysis of satellite data for present-day change.

  7. Document ice sheet boundary conditions and subglacial processes from geophysical and glacial surface motion observations.

  1. Determine seismicity levels in Antarctica and link to cryospheric and tectonic processes.

  2. Better understand neotectonic processes through analysis of improved earthquake catalogues and horizontal crustal motion observations.

  3. Improve the understanding of ionospheric and tropospheric processes through analysis of new POLENET space-geodetic observations – an objective driven through collaboration with the SCAR GNSS Research and Application for Polar Environment expert group. 

 
 

Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
c/o Scott Polar Research Institute
University of Cambridge
Lensfield Road
Cambridge, CB2 1ER, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1223 336550
info@scar.org