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Internship report: Antarctic research group

Frank Weiser did his internship with focus on Antarctica. His direct supervisor, Dr. Peter Friedl, mainly works on mass balances for glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula and especially ice loss due to climate change.

My task was to try out a new method to find glacier grounding lines (GLL). The grounding line is the zone, where the glacier tongue leaves land and starts to float on water. By combining the cross-section of the glacier above it with the flow speed one can calculate the volume flow of the glacier. Detecting its location is done with several methods, which is general very problematic. My task was to develop and test differential range offset tracking with better available Sentinel 1 Data.  I evaluated several tide models to identify the best one, however this showed several new problems for the Wordie Shelf, Antarctica, yet proofed to be very successful for the Petermann Glacier, Greenland.

I was very happy with my internship in the Antarctic research group. The work environment was very relaxed and open, people were friendly and helpful.
I was presented with three different topics I was allowed to pick from. The task I had was challenging yet very interesting and manageable. I was able to work on my own and find my own solutions, but always had a very helpful supervisor at hand when needed. Additionally, I worked with Radar-data for the first time and developed a lot of new skills, especially in R, Bash-Programming and working with unix based server systems.

Additionally, I was allowed to come along to the ESA living planet conference in Prague, which was a great experience. For the conference, I did some groundwork (drawing the outlines of glaciers in QGIS) for my supervisor and was therefore even on his poster. Being able to go to ESA living planet was also nice, taking part in the poster sessions and the whole conference was a great experience.

Author: Frank Weiser

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