Field Update: Jan. 31, 2011

The T-5 fuel tanker MV Richard G. Matthiesen pulled up to the ice pier last night and began to offload its load of fuel to McMurdo shore tanks.

The MV Richard G. Matthiesen is a U.S. merchant ship (a T-5 tanker with a double hull that is ice strengthened) that is part of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command. This ship is scheduled to be decommissioned later this year, but has made this trip to Antarctica before that happens. The Oden has made a channel through the sea ice that helps the tanker get to the pier.

Field Update: Jan. 28, 2011

The refueling vessel is sitting offshore, but there is a problem with the ice pier. A ridge of ice is protruding like a ledge out from the front edge of the pier and the vessels can’t get close enough to dock without potential damage to either the ship or the pier. It’s a conundrum that needs a fast resolution.

Field Update: Jan. 27, 2011

The fieldwork for this season is nearly completed and the team members are on their way back to McMurdo Station and Scott Base by tractor traverse across the Ross Ice Shelf towing all of the ANDRILL equipment with them.

Field Update: Jan. 20, 2011

Today I presented the new NOVA special “Secrets Beneath the Ice” to the community attending the premier in the McMurdo Galley. There were about 150 to 200 people in all, and from what I could tell they enjoyed the special. The viewing screen was a bit dark because of the light source of the projector displaying the DVD to the screen, but overall it all went well.

Field Update: Jan. 17, 2011

I woke to find Oden unloading cargo at the ice pier just in front of my dorm.

The Nathaniel B. Palmer is sitting offshore waiting for its turn at the dock.

Up close, Oden looks very impressive with its broad bow for breaking ice.

Field Update: Jan. 11, 2011

After a good deal of planning and many emails back and forth, we are participating in a test of the Air National Guard’s (ANG) new Crevasse Detection Radar (CDR) in support of NSF’s science mission in Antarctica.

Field Update: Jan. 7, 2011

I received some feedback from people who started thinking about the implications of us having to make our own drinking water. Here’s another view of the water tank in the tri-wall cardboard box, right after re-filling it with snow. The box and tank are all on a pallet so we can easily move it from site to site when we have to move camp. When we’re not filling the tank, we close the tank and box and hold the flaps down with cargo straps.

Field Update: Jan. 6, 2011

The seismic refraction experiment is ready to be shot. The explosives are down in the 55 shot holes and the 100 geophones are buried in the snow on the opposite side of the proposed drill site location from the shot holes. The MECC and hot water drill are in place and the hydrophone is on the seafloor hanging from a cable deployed through a hole melted in the ice shelf.

Field Update: Jan. 5, 2011

Dustin and Paul from the SCINI team flew back to Christchurch this morning, but Bob Zook stayed behind to pack all of the SCINI equipment for shipment back to the United States. This packing and sorting exercise is an essential step in concluding each deployment to Antarctica and we are looking at a lot of work to get the whole ANDRILL camp packed up and all of the containers winterized and ready for storage at the end of the season. This will all happen as part of the end of the season traverse back to McMurdo from Coulman High – a bit of déjà vu from the start of the season.

Field Update: Jan. 2, 2011

Overcast skies and the resulting helicopter hold due to waiting on weather was today’s story. The geophysical team members were all waiting in McMurdo for a chance to get out to the ANDRILL camp, but it became clear as the day progressed that the weather window was not going to open up – too much fog on the ice to allow helicopters to fly.

Field Update: Dec. 7, 2010

A big storm hit the ANDRILL camp on December 3-4, with winds gusting up to 50 knots or more. Richard Levy decided that this was a good time to break out the ANDRILL flag and take pictures for the home crowd. Visibility was poor, but Dick Limeburner captured the moment – awesome!!

EuroANDRILL in International Innovation publication

EuroANDRILL will participate in the annual International Innovation publication, alongside the other projects, which will have a focus on research in the polar environment. The report will look at a number of different areas, collaboration, environmental monitoring, modeling and research, land use and rural development, sharing of data and global data models, environmental technologies, sustainable development program development, polar monitoring and collaboration, water and maritime monitoring issues, resource allocation, collaboration in addressing environment and climate issues, sharing of resources, modeling, technology, policy recommendations etc. The report will then distributed to 39,000 readers (researchers, policy makers, government and decision makers across both the private & public) across the whole of Europe and North America and the INCO countries at the end of May.
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