• 9
    Feb
    , by Alex

The BC3 is a center of reference in research that has focused since its inception in 2008 on assessing the impacts of climate change. This part of the study will consist in measuring the speed of displacement of the Godwin-Austen glacier and the Savoia glacier. K2 base camp is on a privileged position, in the conjunction of these two glaciers. To achieve this goal we will use an instrument called differential GPS. First, we will position a GPS at a stable point (which has no movement) such as the southern spur of K2, called Base (B) and secondly, we will use another GPS (Rover) to georeference the recognizable elements on the glacier as they are large rocks (red squares in the photo), and in areas of the glacier where we do not find these markers, we will fix the ice and georeferenced bamboo canes (blue triangles in the photo). This will obtain its position with respect to the GPS satellites and with respect to the fixed base installed in the spur (B).

At the end of the expedition this procedure will be repeated and, because the rock blocks and the bamboo canes are transported by the glacier, different coordinates will be obtained, which will reflect a displacement of these elements and therefore, indirectly, the speed of the glacier will be known. This type of measurements have been made previously in summer and remotely using satellite images. This study aims to observe with field data the behavior of the glacier under winter conditions and thus generate more and better scientific knowledge.

The pattern of behavior with the glaciers in the area will also be taken into account to see if it differs or not, and, if it does, try to understand the responsible factors. One of these factors can be the melting water between the ice-bed rock interface that directly affects the speed of displacement. The amount of water present is directly related to the ambient temperature and therefore climate change can play a fundamental role..