DAS Measurement in Barrow
1 August 2021 - 31 December 2024
Lead Scientist: Ming Xiao
The field campaign of “DAS Measurement in Barrow” is part of a pending proposal submitted to the NSF Signals in the Soils (SitS) program. The proposal title is: “SitS: Collaborative Research: Understand and forecast long-term variations of in-situ geophysical and geomechanical characteristics of degrading permafrost in the Arctic.” The goal of this research project is to understand and forecast the long-term variations of in-situ geophysical and geomechanical characteristics of permafrost in the Arctic Alaska using innovative sensing technology, data transmission and analysis, and modeling. The field campaign is part of the Task 1 of the proposed research: Develop and deploy a 1.5-km-long fiber-optic distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) array in Utqiaġvik for long-term in-situ permafrost monitoring. In this research task, deployment of the DAS is scheduled to occur in the summer of 2021, if the proposal is funded by the NSF. The fiber-optic cable will be purchased in early 2021 and embedded in soil at a depth of 20 cm in Utqiaġvik. The route of the DAS cable will cover undisturbed permafrost (without infrastructure development) and disturbed permafrost (with infrastructure development). An installation crew from UIC Science LLC in Utqiaġvik with experience in minimally-disturbing excavation in permafrost will be hired to carefully conduct the shallow soil excavation for fiber-optic cable installation along the predetermined and marked route. We plan to keep the DAS interrogator (the data acquisition) in the facility for a minimum of 2 years and potentially beyond the end date of this project. We will continuously acquire the DAS data and will analyze the data to derive the geophysical and geomechanical characteristics of permafrost with different ground temperatures and seasons in the multi-year project period. We also wish to use this opportunity to collaborate with DOE on climate research.