2002-2003 Season

03 January: Our team has been working on Ice Streams C and D in the West Antarctic since 20 November.  Using seismic techniques, we have been profiling the upper ends of the ice streams.  In particular the “onset” regions where the ice changes from slower flow to “streaming” flow. 

To move from site to site on Ice Stream C we have towed sledges with all of our camp kit and much of our science equipment.  We have 10 skidoos, and twenty sledges, some weighing close to 1500 pounds.  Fuel, some food and science gear was cached by Twin Otter.  This is what the train looks like.  The "Conestoga" wagons are our seismic huts where we set-up the recorders and could get out of the wind.  Fuel barrels and some of the larger cable boxes fit well on the Siglin sleds.  Most of our camp gear rides on the Nansen sleds.  The drill and wagons are mounted on Komatik sleds.   We covered about 800 miles in 30 days working on Ice Stream C, and shot three seismic lines.  This is how we spent our Christmas Day, starting the move back to the camp at Onset Delta and a picture of our last camp (C1b), and why it took all Christmas morning to dig out.

We use a string of geophones (left) 1.2 km long with 120 geophones, each moved through the loving care of our "jugheads".  Each shot (right) is followed by the move of the last 300 meters of the string and replanting of 30 geophones.  We have managed 17 such moves in a day.

The shots that provide the seismic source (right) for our work on Ice Stream C are planted in holes drilled at 300 meter intervals using a hot water drill.  The left photo shows the burners that melt the snow and heat the water, and the drill head about to be lowered into the hole. 

These holes are 20 meters deep but on Ice Stream D the Ice Core Drilling Service has used an air drill (right) to make 4 inch diameter holes to 60 meters.

Here is a picture of the group taken at Onset Delta as we were getting ready to leave camp for one of the last days for science.   

Front; Don Voigt, Anatoly Mironov, Sridhar Anandakrishnan, Matt Nolan, Andy Smith

Back; Ash Morton, Paul Winberry, Peter Braddock, Leo Peters, Bob Greschke

Our Thanksgiving meal at Onset D was fabulous, with all the trimmings.  Hawaiian shirts were the order of the day.  The structure we are in is a Jamesway, designed and build for the Korean War.  It can be assembled in four foot sections, and is quite adaptable.  Pray they don't need to be used for their designed purpose again!

While our deep field camp fare leaves room for improvement, we eat well at Onset D (especially Leo and Sridhar).  Occasionally we fire up the camp grill for some steaks.

January 13:  We finished our science on Saturday and packed all day Sunday to be ready for a flight today but we have been working in foggy, overcast weather, and it continued into the morning so our flight today was canceled.   Earlier in the season,  Bob Greschke managed to snap the ultimate Herc photo.   I can stop taking Herc pictures now!  We saw the conning from the prop blades several times this year.