December 2011

A recent news item mentions Sander Geophysics´ participation in a project to study glaciers in the Patagonian ice fields of Chile and the fjords of western Greenland.  The article describes how this helicopter-borne survey using SGL´s AIRGrav system and other instruments will allow for high resolution glacial mapping.

UCI professor awarded $2.2 million for continued research

OCMETRO (, November 29, 2011

November 2011

Gravity data acquired with SGL's AIRGrav system during the Operation IceBridge project have provided scientists with a new bathymetric model revealing important characteristics about the ice flow around Thwaites Glacier.  While the glacier is pinned to the east on a prominent ridge, it lost contact to the west approximately 55 to 150 years ago, scientists have determined, based on current thinning.   The gravity-derived bathymetric data have revealed an undulating offshore ridge that has been a hindrance to floating ice and the circulation of sea water, thus providing more stability to the Thwaites Glacier.  Insight into the future retreat of the glacier has also been revealed by AIRGrav data.

Progressive unpinning of Thwaites Glacier from newly identified offshore ridge:  constraints from aerogravity

Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, L20503, October 2011

November 2011

The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains buried under the East Antarctic Ice Sheet have been a subject of great interest for researchers, who have had difficulty explaining their high elevation and youthful Alpine topography in spite of their considerable age.  Data collected during the International Polar Year project of 1989-1990 to study Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province (AGAP) have revealed in-depth information about the crustal architecture and uplift mechanisms of these mountains, as reported in the journal Nature (see link below).  Sander Geophysics participated in the AGAP project that led to solving this mystery, providing an AIRGrav system and personnel to acquire and process airborne gravity data under contract to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (see 2009 news items below).

East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains

nature (, November 17, 2011

Gamburtsev 'ghost mountains mystery solved'

BBC (, November 17, 2011

November 2011

Sander Geophysics again returns to Antarctica with NASA's IceBridge project collecting data with its AIRGrav system.  AIRGrav is one among a number of instruments that IceBridge utilizes in its airborne campaigns to measure the thickness of ice in Earth's polar regions.  The use of the term "bridge" refers to the gathering of data using aircraft to fill the gap between NASA's now defunct Icesat laser altimeter spacecraft and the future Icesat-2 mission due to come into operation later this decade.  Recently, NASA's Operation IceBridge flew a mission to gather more detailed data regarding the process of an iceberg calving, after satellite imagery showed a growing crack on the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica in early October.  The crack is almost 30 km (20 miles) across and 60 m (200 ft) deep and it is growing daily.   Pine Island Glacier is one of the largest and fastest-moving tongues of ice, and NASA researchers' expect the eventual iceberg will be approximately 880 sq km in areal extent.

A Crack in the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf

NASA Blogs (, October 26, 2011

Watching the Birth of an Iceberg

NASA (, October 2011

Huge Iceberg Forms in Antarctica

BBC (, November 2, 2011

October 2011

Sander Geophysics is flying an airborne magnetic, radiometric and EM survey in the border region around Northern Ireland.   The aim of the project includes improving geological mapping, encouraging mineral exploration and providing an increased ability to manage the resources within the area.

August 2011

Final results from the gravity and magnetic survey that SGL flew for Saturn Minerals in June, over their properties in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, will soon be available.  The helicopter survey was flown with tight line spacing (120-150 metres) permitting enhanced modeling of the potential accumulations for coal, hydrocarbons and other minerals.

June 2011

Sander Geophysics is flying a helicopter gravity and magnetic survey for Saturn Minerals in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba, Canada.  Saturn Minerals says that this survey will greatly increase the company's geophysical database and provide the tools to help define the potential for coal and other minerals.  Saturn Minerals believes that accurate acquisition and interpretation is an important part of success in exploration and that the data Sander provides will be an integral part of refining their exploration model.

May 2011

NASA´s IceBridge Arctic 2011 project, including the gathering of data using SGL´s AIRGrav system is now complete for another year.  More than 75,000 miles of survey data were collected which is equal to about three times around the earth at the equator.  The final flights took the P-3 over the Greenland ice sheet and the Barnes Ice Cap on Baffin Island in Canada´s north.

May 2011

One of the reasons Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav (Airborne Inertially Referenced Gravimeter) is part of Operation IceBridge is that it compliments radar systems which are unable to penetrate liquid water.  Gravity data can help determine bathymetry beneath floating ice, either offshore or onshore in sub-glacial lakes.  This in turn enables the creation of water circulation models and thus helps to predict the melting of ice from underneath the ice sheet.  A number of elements are required to gather accurate gravity data from a moving aircraft including very accurate acceleration sensors and GPS data.

May 2011

With the SGL head office as the backdrop, a new program for Carleton University students is unveiled.  Carleton University, Ottawa Aviation Services and B-Con Engineering have teamed up to offer aerospace engineering students the chance to learn how to fly in a new co-op program.  Teaching students what to do in the cockpit will result in safer aircraft in the future.  Sander Geophysics is involved with aeronautical engineering students at Carleton University supporting research into UAV technology for geophysical surveying.  For more details click here.

  • Learning to fly 101
  • Ottawa Citizen (, May 9, 2011

March 2011

NASA's IceBridge — Arctic 2011 has begun. Sander Geophysics is again involved in the project with its AIRGrav system.  The AIRGrav system is well suited to the task as it measures density and can reveal the variation between water, ice and rock.  Monitoring how the Arctic polar ice is changing including the depth of snow and sea ice provides a better understanding of the effects of climate change.  Survey flights this spring will include trips from Thule, Greenland, over the north of Ellesmere Island, in Canada to Russian airspace and also north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

March 2011

Scientists working with data from Antarctica's Gamburtsev Province Project (AGAP) have discovered that the liquid water locked underneath the continent´s coat of ice is thawing and refreezing to the bottom.  Ice sheets build up from the top but scientists have known little about the processes underneath.  In some places accumulation has been shown to be greater at the bottom than the top.  These discoveries are part of understanding how the ice forms and deforms which is critical to comprehend its response to climate change.  Sander Geophysics participated in AGAP in 2008-2009.  This International Polar Year project involved flying at low-altitude in a grid pattern over the Antarctic ice sheet to determine what lay beneath and determine how the mountain peaks, ice sheet, and subglacial lakes interact with one another.

March 2011

NunaMinerals identified 14 copper-gold targets in Inglefield Land in Greenland.  Sander Geophysics conducted a gravity and magnetic survey over this area in the spring of 2010.  The interpretation of this data along with historic geochemical and EM data pinpointed a number of targets.  NunaMinerals has applied for enlargement of its exclusive exploration license that includes the majority of the copper-gold prospective ground.

January 2011

Scientists working on NASA´s Operation IceBridge data from 2009 have made a new discovery.  A deepwater channel under the Pine Island Glacier was found through the mapping of water depth and seafloor topography.  While laser and radar instruments can measure the elevation of the ice surface and the bedrock below they cannot penetrate the water.  Sander Geophysics' AIRGrav allows ice, water and rock to be identified due to their difference in density.  The thickness of these materials can then be estimated.  This discovery may help to explain the nature of the recent changes in the glacier and thus be able to better predict the changes to come.