The first 2 weeks in Antarctica was focused on general training, driving snowmobiles, camping etc. We here became friends with Geophysicist Andrew Slater, who has a well-written blog on our work.
Our bags are packed and checked, but weather at Yesterday Camp canceled our flight today. Hopefully we’ll be flying to camp tomorrow. We’re living out of our carry-ons, hopefully not too much longer, anticipating flying tomorrow…
There is no internet access from Yesterday Camp, so this may be the last post until we return after the installations are completed, hopefully in the first week of December.
While here, fellow Humboldt State grads from the mid-1980’s had a reunion at McMurdo — a long way in time and space from the days in Arcata, CA — an unexpected location to meet up again.
Our camp on the Ross Ice Shelf was put in today. We’ll be deploying to the camp in two days. A lot of prep work to get everything moved from McMurdo to Yesterday Camp (just east of the dateline near 79deg S) has been done today. We’re nearly ready to go, hoping that the weather holds and the LC-130 transport doesn’t have any mechanical problems. It’s been warm — in the teens. Small streams of melt water are running down the roads.
Because the sun never sets in the summer in Antarctica, a sundial works 24 hours a day.
HAM’ing It UP.
The installation of a seismic station on the ice takes a team effort, including help from the KBA Twin Otter pilots. Our seismic stations differ from the Wiens/Aster project installed yesterday in that they also contain barometers to measure the displacement due to atmospheric pressure changes. DR16 is our station that is farthest south, away from the ice front (see map in Taking the Pulse).
In the Air.
The seismometer and support electronics package are buried in separate holes separated by about 30ft.
Support Electronics Installation.
There is lots of activity and cooperation during installation.
Remember, today is tomorrow for those east of the dateline, e.g. in the U.S.
Panoramic video of DR16 seismometer installation, showing what the Ross Ice Shelf icescape looks like.
Some majestic views of Antarctica on the way back to McMurdo.
Our transport plane, Twin Otters, lands on skis in very short landing and take-off skiways.
The Cheese Shop Frisbee travels the world – Here it is making an appearance at McMurdo for 10 days only! Next stop on the 2014 Antarctica Tour is the Ross Ice Shelf for a three-week special engagement at Yesterday Camp.
We’re grateful to John, son Phil, and grandson John for over four decades of tasty sandwiches and other treats served in La Jolla Shores! Wish you were here!
Got the first two seismic stations installed today! Only 32 more to go!
Dr. Flick waiting at the shuttle stop with the team for transport to Willy Field. ‘Nuff said…
Team waiting in the Willy Field First Class transit lounge for cargo manifest problems to be resolved.
Baggage and cargo handling is done with snow-machine.
Cargo and crew cozy aboard Twin Otter enroute to Station RIS 02.
Garage Sale on the ice unloading the Twin Otter!
Dr. Flick secures wiring at bottom of solar panel “lampshade” array that will power the station through the summer months.
Doug carefully arranges and levels the seismic sensor in the bottom of the instrument well dug about 6 feet deep in the snow of the Ross Ice Shelf.
Sensor RIS02 in the hole! Conduit has wires that connect sensor to instrument case.
Instrument case with batteries and data recorder in a separate 4 ft by 6 ft hole in the snow. This will record 100 samples per second on three channels for over a year!
All done, crew is back on the Twin Otter and the station is buried with only flagpoles and solar lampshade showing. See you next year!
We were transported out to the snow camping area near Williams (Willy’s) Field, an ice runway.
Heading to Snow Camp.
The “field” training consisted of building a wall out of sawed snow blocks to shield out tents from the wind and each setting up our tents.
The Wind Shield.
Fortunately, we had great weather: sunny, low winds, and relatively warm near the teens.
Ralph Stephen and Mt. Erebus.
All of our crew are newbies, so we’re learning a lot.
Oceanographer Ron Flick Braving the Elements.
Always something new …
Yesterday we were on survival camp out on the McMurdo Ice Shelf.
We were transported out to our camping site on the ice shelf. Not as busy as a standard California camping site and about 70F colder!