Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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What’s Going On Under the Ice?

Posted: April 4, 2014

What’s Going On Under the Ice?

Professor Emeritus Guy Meadows spoke with CBS Detroit about studying the Great Lakes under a cover of ice.

“Our arctic-like environment provides a wonderful opportunity to make the GLRC (Great Lakes Research Center) a true year-round research facility,” Meadows told CBS. Meadows is the director of Michigan Technological University’s GLRC.

The article described a cabled observatory under the ice off the research center’s dock on the Portage Waterway, which runs between Houghton and Hancock in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Since it connects two parts of Lake Superior, it technically makes the northern Keweenaw a big island.

“If you depend on battery-operated buoys to collect data, you’re blind for six months out of the year in Lake Superior,” Meadows explained. “Cabled observatories give us an underwater interface that can be used year-round. And the armored cables can be run miles off shore.”

The GLRC is not the only place monitoring conditions under the Great Lakes ice. Professor Tony England is running a US Department of Energy- funded research project in an under-ice observatory near a historic lighthouse close to Michigan Tech.

To read the full article, please visit CBS Detroit.

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