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Ice Shelf Rift Time-Lapse Photography, Antarctica


From November 2004 to March 2005, on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica, an automated "web cam" was operated on the southward facing lip of a large ice-shelf rift to produce a photographic record of processes active in ice-shelf rift systems. Four times each day, the camera took a photograph in four repeating directions. Data are available in JPEG format. Data are available via FTP.

Citing These Data

We kindly request that you cite the use of this data set in a publication using the following citation example. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

MacAyeal, Douglas and Brunt, Kelly. 2008. Ice shelf rift time-lapse photography, Antarctica. Boulder, Colorado USA: National Snow and Ice Data Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.7265/N5QV3JGV.

Overview Table

Category Description
Data format Digital images are in JPEG format.
Spatial coverage and resolution Southernmost Latitude:78 South
Northernmost Latitude: 78 South
Westernmost Longitude: 178 West
Easternmost Longitude: 178 West
Temporal coverage and resolution 11 November 2004 to 19 March 2005
File naming convention .JPEG - Data are organized in folders named for specific camera orientation
File size Approximately 163 Megabytes (MB)
Parameter(s) Antarctica, glaciers and ice sheets
Procedures for obtaining data

Available via FTP


Table of Contents

  1. Contacts and Acknowledgments
  2. Detailed Data Description
  3. Data Access and Tools
  4. Data Acquisition and Processing
  5. References and Related Publications
  6. Document Information

1. Contacts and Acknowledgments

Investigator(s)

Douglas MacAyeal
Department of Geophysical Sciences
University of Chicago
5734 S. Ellis Ave.
HGS 413
Chicago, Illinois 60637 USA

Kelly Brunt
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, California 92093 USA

Technical Contact

NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
CIRES, 449 UCB
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449  USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services
e-mail: nsidc@nsidc.org

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs (OPP) grant 0229546 awarded to D. MacAyeal.

2. Detailed Data Description

Format

Digital images are in JPEG format.

File Naming Convention

Files are named according to the following convention:

Data are organized in folders named for specific camera orientation.
File names indicate date and time of day.

where:

File Naming Convention
Variable Description
east green camera orientation to east
west red camera orientation to west
south camera orientation to south
battery camera orientation to battery box

File Size

Approximately 163 Megabytes

Spatial Coverage

Southernmost Latitude: 78 South
Northernmost Latitude: 78 South
Westernmost Longitude: 178 West
Easternmost Longitude: 178 West

Temporal Coverage

11 November 2004 to 19 March 2005

Temporal Resolution

4 times per day

Parameter or Variable

Parameters include: Antarctica, glaciers and ice sheets

Sample Data Record

Each photograph in the collection is a 640 by 480 pixel image


3. Data Access and Tools

Data Access

Available via FTP

Volume

Approximately 163 Megabytes (MB)

Related Data Collections

4. Data Acquisition and Processing

Sensor or Instrument Description

The system contained two cameras, a Sony SNC RZ30 (giving a 640 by 480 pixel image using a 1/3-inch CCD) and a StarDot NetCam MP (also giving a 640 by 480 pixel image). The system was controlled by a Rabbit microprocessor located on a custom made circuit board.

Data Acquisition Methods

The controller board switched on both cameras and initiated a program running on the Linux operating system of the NetCam MP to perform image acquisition, storage and ftp transmission to ftp.thistle.org via an Iridium satellite telephone modem made by NAL. The images used in this study were also stored locally, on a 1 gigabyte flash memory card associated with the Sony camera. Power was supplied by three 100 amp hour 12 V batteries maintained by two 20 W solar panels and a Flexcharge PV7D charge controller.

The camera was operated continuously for 136 days (from 03 November, 2004, until 19 March, 2005) to collect images from 3 standard views: (a) east, along the rift toward its wide, open end, (b) south, directly across the rift, and (c) west, along the rift toward the closed, propagating tip. Pictures of these three views were obtained 4 times a day to allow different sun angles to illuminate the features of the rift walls and snowscape covering the rift floor. The camera system shut down in late March, 2005, because photovoltaic power generation could not maintain the 12 v battery system. The system failed to wake up the following austral spring, and was removed from the field (thus recovering data stored on the Sony flash card) in November, 2005.

5. References and Related Publications

MacAyeal, D. R., K. C. Leonard, L. B. Tremblay, R. Ross and J. E. Thom, unpublished manuscript. Blowing Snow as a Source of Ice-Shelf Rift Filling Melange: Results of a 4-Month Study Using an Automated Camera System.

6. Document Information

Acronyms

The following acronyms are used in this document.

Acronyms and Abbreviations
Acronym Description
FTP File Transfer Protocol
NSIDC National Snow and Ice Data Center
JPEG a commonly used method of compression for photographic images
MB megabytes
URL Uniform Resource Locator

Document Creation Date

November 2008

Document URL

http://nsidc.org/data/docs/agdc/nsidc0351_macayeal/index.html