On Saturday (17 December) Ian, Jenna, Tebogo, and Nicola finished work at another study site – Robertskollen. Robertskollen is the site closest to the ice shelf, while simultaneously also having the lowest elevation (less than 300 MASL). Traditionally the ground temperatures at Robertskollen are much warmer than those found for the remaining sites. Like at Slettfjell the team downloaded a year’s worth of ground temperature and moisture data from the XR5 and ACR logger set-ups and reset the loggers to run for another calendar year. They also maintained the equipment and ensured that all cables, sensors and protective casings were properly attached, connected and in working order. Jenna also collected some geological samples for her Masters, while Nicola photographed periglacial and glacial landforms for hers.
Robertskollen is a beautiful site with five separate nunataks rising above the snow and ice. Cairn Hill and Ice Axe Peak are located farthest to the east and the team approaches the nunataks of Robertskollen from this side. Glacier’s Edge is furthest south and Tumble Ice furthest north and west.
The loggers are located near Restful Hill in an area characterized by contraction polygons, sorted stone circles and terraces. The area has a plethora of ice pools and ice blisters are common. On the way to Robertskollen the team would also have used all the skills learnt previously in safety and climbing sessions. In order to get to the study site you have to cross a crevasse that extends from Cairn Hill northwards. The location of this crevasse is well known and it is considered safe. Nevertheless, the team always probes the ice bridge across the crevasse first before driving over it to the study site behind it (see photos below).
Photos from archives. Credit: C Hansen
Like in previous years the crevasse was perfectly safe to cross and they had a successful day in the field! Three sites done…five to do! But the stay in Antarctica should not only be work and fieldwork should definitely also be fun. It’s been a very warm summer thus far and, once they had finished their work, the team also got to have a bit of fun in the sun (and snow…).
#LPiAE #2016fieldseason #Robertskollendone! #fieldworkrocks #Antarctica #welovetoscience