Ice Stories
Exploratorium Home

One Month in the Deep Field, Part 5

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND– For about a month, we worked every single day, taking turns cooking for each other (some meals more agreeable than others – there were some complaints about my dishes being too spicy!), sleeping in individual mountain tents, and mostly working on the seismic line, because with each new explosion, we needed to dig out 24 geophones and move the line a little farther. In addition, we had to dig a hole about six feet deep at each shot location due to a steam drill that broke down on us. It was work that left my back and shoulders in a miserable state of disrepair.

A sun dog over our camp.

So at the end and after another set of long Skidoo rides to prep the GPS stations for next winter and pick up the passive seismometers, the Basler came and picked us and our gear up and whisked us off to McMurdo. And after a few days of returning equipment and shipping other equipment home, we left for Christchurch, which is where I am writing this update.

Now that the Antarctica portion of the journey is over, you would think that the drama and excitement is over. However, with science, that’s not the case! Because our instrumentation is so sensitive, and we have collected so much data, it is often hard to know immediately what your data will yield – that’s why we have the rest of the year to toil in front of a computer screen! Our group is just now on the verge of making our little discoveries, because all the data must now be processed and interpreted, which is the fun part! It’s the scientific intrigue that brings people by the hundreds down South and the discoveries that come from that which makes all the bodily abuse worth it. The Antarctic continent has infinite mysteries still left to discover and we can only chip away at them one long and brutal field season at a time.

Professor Slawek Tulaczyk examines the data while still in camp.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.