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Investigating the polar regions from the inside out


POLENET (The Polar Earth Observing Network) is a global network dedicated to observing the polar regions in a changing world.

The project is primarily focused on collecting GPS and seismic data from autonomous systems, but also includes geophysical observations such as magnetics, tide gauge, and gravity measurements.  Equipment deployments are at remote sites spanning much of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. GPS and seismic measurements together provide a means to answer critical questions about ice sheet behavior in a warming world.

Combining POLENET measurements of gravity, sea level, and the atmosphere will link ice sheet change to the global earth system. Scientists define Earth’s global ice volume as a “mass budget” with ice shrinking and growing in different places around the world. Coordinating satellite measurements with ground-based POLENET measurements will evaluate the ice sheet “budgets” of both polar regions, providing a deeper understanding of how polar ice sheets contribute to changing sea levels around the world.

The unprecedented scale of the POLENET sensor network is allowing investigations of systems-scale interactions of the solid earth, the cryosphere, the oceans and the atmosphere. POLENET data is enabling new studies of the inner earth, tectonic plates, the earth’s magnetic field, climate and weather, and the solar wind, and will lead to as yet unimagined discoveries about the critical polar regions of our planet.