Monday, December 3, 2007

Almost ready to go home

A helo trip to the Mount Discovery volcanic area has been arranged for tomorrow and I am scheduled to be on it. We are going to examine some of the source rocks that we find in the core. All depends on weather, but the forecast is looking okay at the moment. We are further getting ready to leave the ice in a few days. We are finishing up our scientific reports and are giving final presentations to the science team. We will leave from an area that is further from McMurdo Station. Last weekend the sea ice runway was moved to Pegasus and Willy Field on the ice shelf. You can see the train of vehicles pulling the buildings in the photo. The sea ice is getting too thin and too soft to land planes on it. It is no longer safe, so the runway had to be moved to thicker glacial ice. The sea ice edge with open water has progressed further south and the sea ice is breaking out. The recent satellite image at the top shows that the open water has come quite close to the station. The drill rig is also being dismantled as we speak. Although it is on multi-year thick sea ice, the ice is becoming to weak to support the weight of the rig.

1 comment:

Greg Pope said...


Hi! Greg Pope here.
Love the blog, I've been reading it. Will have to talk to you at length about all this when you get back. I've been telling my Weather students to pay attention.

In another guise, I'm an aviation enthusiast. Your talk of the ice runway reminded me of something. A new airliner made by Boeing, the 787, has had delayed development. For certification, it has to do "cold soak" tests in a very cold environment. It's going to miss the Alaska winter, but there is talk of using Antarctic runways next Spring. Hear anything about that?

Have a safe wrap-up!