Tag Archives: Research

Aggiornamento 2011

Almost three months have passed since the “hot” phase of the Ortler project, meaning those three weeks in September and October 2011, when an international research team extracted for the very first time an ice core from the bottom of the summit of the Ortler glacier in the Eastern Alps. This happened four times: the team was able to extract a 75 metre ice core three times and a 60 metre core once.

During that same period some 20 high school students from the surrounding area got involved through educational activities organised by the same researchers. The goal was to bring teachers and students to the place where the research was taking place – and while it was ongoing – in order to allow them to “witness” the research.

3 November Interview with Paolo Gabrielli

A few days ago the “Science Day” took place in Bolzano/Bozen at EURAC. The Science Day is a type of fair where projects, proposals and ideas for teaching science in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen were presented. The ORTLER project was presented as well and we were able to see close up how much has been happening around this project so far. We will soon publish new posts including pictures and reports about the work currently going on in all participating schools.

Today we have the honour of publishing an interview with Dr. Paolo Gabrielli, a researcher from the Trentino region in Italy, who is also the scientific coordinator of the project. He was able to answer to some of our questions shortly before returning to work at the Byrd Polar Centre of the Ohio State University of Columbus (USA).

Paolo, you are shortly due to go back to the USA. Four ice cores, three of them reaching down to the rock underneath the glacier, were extracted. Were you expecting such a result a few months ago?

To tell you the truth, yes, I was expecting this, although the extraction of four ice cores was our most ambitious goal. We had prepared everything in such a way that would allow this result. I would have considered extracting one such ice core, reaching down to the rock, a success. This was not a certainty at the outset… especially considering the technical difficulties we had during the operations.

What are the unique features of this project?

13th October 3-1. Let’s summarise!

Today we would like to summarise what’s happened so far.

As you might have guessed, the group of researchers has left the summit glacier of the Ortler mountain where perforation activities had been taking place. They took down all structures beginning the afternoon of 6 October and left the site the following morning. The helicopter had to make 20 return flights in order to bring all the material down to the valley, including the four precious ice cores which had been extracted during four separate operations.

4 October 2011 – …and a THIRD!

Yesterday the researchers and technicians were able to extract another ice core from the summit glacier of the Ortler mountain. For the third time within just a few days they were able to reach the rocks on which the glacier lies.

This time, not only the climatic but also the perforation conditions were particularly favourable. Since the upper layers only contained little melt water, which therefore did not obstruct the hole, the perforation was faster.

22nd of September – The Campus | 22 Settembre – Campus di glaciologia | 22. September – Das Glaziologiecamp

Twenty high school students from the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen (ten Italian and ten German-speaking) together with their accompanying teachers have started the Glaciology camp at the Hotel Franzenshöhe, which is located on the way to the Stelvio pass  (See the Glaciology camp Programme). In the coming five days they will meet experts, researchers, glaciologists and guides from the Stelvio National Park. The main goal will be to better understand the research aspects of the Ortler project and the surrounding environment.

Yesterday the researchers implemented various preparatory activities while waiting to be transported by helicopter to the glacier in the coming days. There, the researchers will set up a remote camp where they will stay for the following 30 days in order to work on the delicate task of extracting an ice core from the glacier. Even during this delicate phase, the entire research team has proven to be very helpful, explaining to the students every single aspect of their work and presenting some similar research that took them, during their careers, to several glaciers in various parts of the globe, from Antarctica to New Guinea. See the picture gallery of the first day of the camp.
Tomorrow (23 September), the research team and all the material should be taken to the glacier at 3,950 meters by helicopter.