End of Season Field Reports

2014-2015 Field Season

Collaborative Research: Climate, Ice Dynamics and Biology Using a Deep Ice Core from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Ice Divide (I-477)
PI: Ken Taylor (Desert Research Institute) NSF-OPP supported
PI: Mark Twickler (University of New Hampshire) NSF-OPP supported

Field Team:
Don Voigt and Peter Burkett (Penn State University)

Field Season Objective:
The purpose of I−477's field season was to complete the retrograde of science/equipment cargo from the core handling arch.

Field Season Summary:

  • Voigt and Burkett arrived at WAIS Divide (WSD) on 12/11/2014.
  • The arch was already dug out by the time of Voigt and Burkett's arrival.
  • The Carpenter Crew has been working since arriving on 12/11. The Arch is in rough shape.
  • The Processing-Side gantry was removed by the Carpenter Crew.
  • I-477 prepared pallets for retro including Core Trays (two pallets, 95 trays), the AFP rollers, and the O2 monitor.
  • Several items were requested for use at the SPICE Core project, these were located and sent via Guard Mail.
  • Two snowmobiles retrieved from Byrd Surface Camp were put into service to be used by Science at WSD. This brings the science snowmobile pool to 4 machines. This should be adequate for the needs of the six events using them.
  • Camp celebrated Christmas with dinner on 12/24. Staff had the 25th and 26th off, then worked Saturday and Sunday.
  • Work continues to box up all the loose items left from ice core processing. Dismantling of the "buffer table" is complete. Crating of the 4-meter core trays and longer parts from the MK table are next.
  • Work in the Arch was not possible for several days during the storm. Lack of lighting in the Arch and not being able to open the Processing Side doors made it too dark to work.
  • Several items were requested for use at the SPICE Core project, these were located and sent via Guard Mail. The last, a replacement blower for the FED is on its way to Pole.
  • Crates for the 4-meter core trays and the MK table have been built and are being packed.
  • I-477 completed the dismantling and pack up of the Processing side of the Arch. Voigt and Burkett flew back to McMurdo Station on 1/15/2015.
  • Camp is in the process of closing. Scheduled LC-130 flights have been cut and all science is scheduled to pull out on 1/22, including T-350. Flight delays and weather have combined to reduce the number of flights on continent, and Pole needs fuel flights.
  • While in McMurdo, Voigt completed the process of assigning TCNs to cargo that had already arrived from WSD. Since Voigt's return to McMurdo no further cargo was returned (from WSD to McMurdo) and Voigt suspects that the remaining three crates will winter at WSD. They contain (and are labeled) the MK Table, MK Motor and 4 Meter Trays. In addition, 12 Arctic Oven tents belonging to the SCO remained at WSD camp and will be packed in 50 cube MW boxes for storage on the cargo lines.

View of the arch. Photo: Don Voigt.

View of the remaining items inside the core handling arch. Photo: Don Voigt.

Heavy drifting on the warming Jamesway. Photo: Don Voigt.

Heavy drifting at the doors to the drilling side of the arch. Photo: Don Voigt.