International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks

2C (2016-2017): Tasman Acceleration Study 2016

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FDSN Network Information

FDSN code 2C (2016-2017) Network name Tasman Acceleration Study 2016 (TAS2016)
Start year 2016 Operated by
  • Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
End year 2017 Deployment region

Tasman Glacier (New Zealand's largest glacier) undergoes remarkable rain-induced accelerations. During heavy rain events, Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments deployed on the glacier have accelerated to up to 36-times the background velocity. At the same time the glacier surface uplifts by up to 0.6 m, and the glacier emits seismic signals similar to many small earthquakes. Glacier and ice sheet acceleration is a principal unknown in sea level rise predictions. Glaciers and ice sheets respond to additional water inputs, such as heavy rain events, by partially floating and accelerating. Both the separation of the ice from its bed and the subsequent acceleration are manifest by changes in the position of the surface and can generate seismic signals due to the interaction between the ice and the underlying bedrock. The Tasman Acceleration Study aims to resolve the important changes in the interaction between the glacier and the underlying bedrock that occur before, during, and after glacier acceleration events.

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