Eos features Bohleber’s Kilimanjaro findings

Pascal Bohleber’s findings about ice thickness on Mount Kilimanjaro are featured in Eos, a publication of the American Geophysical Union. Bohleber is an adjunct research assistant professor at the Climate Change Institute. In 2015, he led a team that — for the first time — took ground-penetrating radar to Kilimanjaro’s 6,000-meter-high summit. “It’s like an X-ray of the glacier,” Bohleber said. Using ground-penetrating radar, “you basically see straight down into the glacier.” After a six-day climb and three days of measurements, the team — which also included CCI doctoral student Mario Potocki — learned the ice thickness ranged from roughly 6 to 54 meters. On average, the ice field had fallen in height by 6 meters over 15 years. Glaciers at lower elevations on Kilimanjaro have decreased even more substantially in height, Bohleber said. The team calculated the total ice volume of the Northern Ice Field to be about 12 million cubic meters — enough to fill Manhattan’s Central Park to a depth of 4 meters, according to the article. The group also demonstrated the ice layering within the Northern Ice Field is regular and horizontal, which means ice samples from the field’s exposed walls are representative of the interior. Bohleber’s team will trace the evolution of the Northern Ice Field in three dimensions, then remeasure the ice the summit in a few years to create a new three-dimensional map to track the rate of ice loss in detail.