The surrounding scenery is quite spectacular, best view from the airstrip, which is about ¾ mile and 400ft up from base which stands by the sea, ice in winter! To the North the ‘Piedmont’ a 400ft thick ice shelf, stretches away separated from the sea by shear ice cliffs. To the East, the island mountain range is 15 miles away, but towering above to 8,000ft it looks only a stone’s throw away.
Well My love the last few days down here have been very interesting, it has been a week of going places. Last Wednesday it all started with another ‘visit the sledges’ afternoon.
Working with Glaciologists this last week as well, on Thursday Dave the pilot, myself and the glacio’s flew out to Charcot Island in the Bellingshausen Sea to dig a hole! This hole was 10’ by 6’ by 6’ deep, then in the bottom of this hole we drilled down a further 30ft with a coring Drill. Samples of each core which came up were put in plastic bags to be sent back to Copenhagen to measure the Oxygen Isotopes in them.
During the ‘winter’ here (when the temp is about -30’C to -40’C as opposed to only -4’C today) this loose rock is covered by several feet of snow, when the melt starts its rather uneven with so many things causing the melt, water underneath, direct sunlight, warm winds so what is left are columns of frozen snow all different shapes some so thin you can see through them, delicate arches of ice crystals giving the same appearance as a crystal chandelier. Really beautiful.