Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund
Reconnaissance Research in the Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan

I am writing to request funding from the Dan and Betty Churchill Exploration Fund for an upcoming field season to the Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan as part of a reconnaissance trip for the Central Asia Deep Ice-Coring Project (CADIP). Paul Mayewski is collaborating with Vladimir Aizen from the University of Idaho in a plan to secure support to retrieve a 500-1000 meter ice core from Fedchenko Glacier in the Pamirs (see attached figures and site information). The proposed ice core will be the deepest non-polar ice core ever recovered, and will provide a climatic and environmental record covering the Holocene. The record is anticipated to document moisture advection into central Asia from the Atlantic and Arctic; dynamics of the westerly jet stream, the Siberian High and the Asian monsoon; and naturally and humanly forced environmental change over Central Asia. The reconnaissance season will provide data essential for submission of a proposal for federal funding.

The logistics of CADIP will be very demanding, thus the project is proposed to be an international, multi-institutional effort. In May 2005 a CADIP planning meeting will be held at CCI with representatives from China, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and the United States. Dr. Aizen has done extensive research in this location and has identified potential drill sites (see attached figures). The purpose of the upcoming field season is to acquire additional information about the site including numerous short ice cores to verify that the climate signal is preserved in the cores. Bjorn Grigholm and myself, both CCI graduate students, are planning to assist Dr. Aizen in the 2005 reconnaissance trip. The shallow cores that will be collected this summer will provide the necessary data to secure funding for CADIP from international funding agencies.

The reconnaissance field season is not funded, which is why we are requesting funds from the Churchill Fund. We are requesting $3500 to help cover the costs of lodging and flights for Bjorn and myself, and excess baggage fees for shipping the ice core drill. The trip is scheduled for July 9-August 6, 2005. This trip is an exciting opportunity for Bjorn and I to work with Dr. Aizen in the field, and will contribute to Bjorn's master's thesis and my PhD work. This will also be Bjorn's first field season, and is an excellent opportunity for him to learn about ice coring and the glacial environment. Attached are appendices with additional details regarding our schedule, budget, and proposed drill site.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Kaspari and Bjorn Grigholm

Field site map
Figure 1: Map of the field region showing the proposed drill site in the Pamirs on Fedchenko Glacier.
Photo of Fedchenko Glacier
Figure 2: The Fedchenko Glacier region.
Propsed Drill sites graphic
Figure 3: Proposed drill sites on the Fedchenko Glacier (3830'N,
7215'E, 5500-5800 m). The high accumulation rate (800 g cm-2/yr)
and ice depth (500-1000m) make recovery of an ice core covering
the past 10,000 years possible.

Appendix 1: Schedule

y back to Djergital
  • August 4: Djergital-Dushanbe
  • August 5: Dushanbe
  • August 6: Dushanbe- Munich- US