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Spotlight profile: UCLA geographer Laurence C. Smith conducts research on Greenland's meltwater rivers

January 27, 2015

UCLA geographer and department chair Laurence C. Smith conducted a study of surface meltwater rivers in Greenland over six days in the summer of 2012.  The study used satellite imagery, buoys with GPS technology, and a drone boat to map the network and determine flow rates. 

The study was funded by NASA's cryospheric sciences program and included 11 researchers, with the primary focus of determining whether meltwater was retained in the ice sheet.  "The question was whether the ice sheet acts like a sponge, or like Swiss cheese," Smith said.  

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