New programme for climate monitoring at Camp Century, Greenland
Camp Century was a military base constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 1959 in the nearsurface layers of the Greenland ice sheet at 77.13°N and 61.03°W and 1910 metres above sea level (Clark 1965). The c. 55 ha base housed between 85 and 200 soldiers and was continuously occupied until 1964 (Fig.1). Camp Century primarily served as an experimental facility for the USACE to test ice-sheet construction concepts. Recent Danish scholarship has documented the political and military history of Camp Century in substantial detail (Petersen 2007; Nielsen & Nielsen 2016). To summarise, Project Iceworm, the US Army ambition to deploy offensive missiles within the ice sheet, was never realised. After three years of seasonal operation, Camp Century was finally abandoned with minimal decommissioning in 1967. The Government of Denmark has now established a GEUS-led programme for long-term climate monitoring, as well as one-time waste mapping, at Camp Century. Here, we briefly review the historical scientific activities at Camp Century and introduce the future goals of the Camp Century Climate Monitoring Programme. Finally, we discuss the challenges and outlook of climate monitoring and waste mapping at the former military site.
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GEUS Bulletin is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS). This article is distributed under a CC-BY 4.0 licence, permitting free redistribution and reproduction for any purpose, even commercial, provided proper citation of the original work. Author(s) retain copyright over the article contents. Read the full open access policy.