The storm has finally passed, and it was quite the storm! While the storm was raging outside the renovations of the base continued and the brand new generator room is now almost up and running! It’ll be ready for use within the week. The mountains south of SANAE IV were hidden in the wind-blown snow for days on end but slowly the Borga and closer mountains (Lorentzenpiggen, Scumacherfjellet, Grunehogna) became visible so the the team was able to travel to Flårjuven yesterday (Thursday, 5 January) to complete their fieldwork there.
Similar to the trip to Valterkulten reaching Flårjuven was not done by helicopter this year. Instead the team travelled overland with snow mobiles – a 160km roundtrip! With the possibility of more bad weather coming in the team got up early and was on their way before 8 AM. With a week’s poor weather the snow was soft and the going was difficult for Ian, who was towing the sledge. The upside was that the surface was relatively free of sastrugi, which made for a comfortable trip. All three students managed to do some field data collecting, but most impressive were the precipitates and clear signs of salt weathering for Jenna’s study. Unfortunately the sledge broke on the way out but repairs effected at a refuelling stop secured it for the trip home.
All the Ahlmannryggen sites have been completed and the rest of the takeover will be for the students to collect enough data for their respective Masters. Some team members may be able to join with the microbiologists when they reach SANAE IV and revisit one or two sites. In addition, the team will accompany them on a flight to the Borga to do a reconnaissance, which will cap off a very successful field season.
#LPiAE #2016fieldseason #Flårjuvendone! #fieldworkrocks #Antarctica #welovetoscience #1moresite2go