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The Power of the Wind and Tides

MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA– We have been here a week now and the cargo is packed and loaded. Several planes have been able to get cargo out to WAIS and now all of the science crew and drillers need to get out to camp! Things are finally starting to look up. In the meantime, we have been having a grand time exploring the hiking trails, coffee house and entertainment that McMurdo has to offer (think craft room, gym, exercise classes, movie nights etc.)! Many of us are trying to stay healthy by going on runs, skiing, and hiking. We have had great weather (~15-20 °F) with sunny skies so that certainly provides the motivation to get out and have fun while we wait to get out to WAIS Divide. One of our adventures was over to the pressure ridges near Scott Base, the home of the Antarctica New Zealand program.

This short video sums up pressure ridges. The pressure ridges we explored here form where a large mass of sea ice buckles under pressure as it makes contact with land (in this case, Ross Island where McMurdo Station and Scott Base are located). The wind, tides, and sun are all variables that constantly change these ridges. With Mt. Erebus looming over the station, the views were quite dramatic. Surprisingly, every view along our ~2 mile walk seemed different! It was like walking through a park of ice sculptures! Like identifying shapes in clouds, we were able to see a dog, person, peace sign, and set of waves. I hope you enjoy this short video with photos from this little adventure onto the ice!

Music by Wayne Grim.

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