On Saturday (24 December) Ian, Jenna, Tebogo, and Nicola finished work at yet another study site, Valterkulten this time. In order to reach this site the team travelled overland on snow mobiles and ascended up one of the gentler sides of of the nunatak. The journey across the ice would have required everyone to be roped up – snow mobiles are tied to each other for maximum safety – and to be extra vigilant for crevasses.
Valterkulten is quite an interesting site, due to a bowl-shaped depression on the nunatak and a brine pond found at the lowest point of this depression. While the brine lake changes in extent year on year, with it sometimes frozen over or even completely thawed out, the most fascinating aspect of it is that algae grow within its waters. Valterkulten is also home to quite a few microorganisms (mites, bacteria etc.). Like at Slettfjell and Robertskollen 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. The weather has luckily been fairly good so far and the team has been able to do a lot of field work – their work is progressing very well!
#LPiAE #2016fieldseason #Valterkultendone! #fieldworkrocks #Antarctica #welovetoscience