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Investigating the polar regions from the inside out

The 2011-2012 POLENET season is underway and off to a great start. This year the team will be working out of McMurdo Station, Byrd Camp, and ALE Union Glacier Camp in order to install 4 GPS sites, remove 13 seismic stations, and maintenance 31 GPS and 22 seismic sites throughout the West Antarctic ice sheet. The sites that are serviced will continue to operate and collect data for another year. Many of the sites will be reached through use of either a Basler or Twin Otter airplane, but this season there is also a skidoo traverse that will travel along the temporary seismic array for up to 2 weeks at a time to remove stations.

 

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From left to right: Cristo Ramirez, Dr. J.P. O’Donnell, Mike Roberts, and Andrew Lloyd preparing to leave on the southbound section of the seismic traverse to remove temporary stations.

Photo credit Dr. Douglas Wiens

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From left to right: Dr. Douglas Wiens and Mark Whetu helping to load equipment removed from the temporary seismic station ST01.

Photo credit Dr. Brian Bagley

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From front to back: Mark Whetu and Dr. Pippa Whitehouse helping to dig out temporary seismic station ST09.

Photo credit Rachel Gesserman

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From left to right: Brian Harrison, Paul Carpenter, Dr. Brian Bagley, Abigail Sussman, and Alex McCorquodale removing temporary seismic station ST10 from the seismic transect.

Photo credit Betsy Spencer

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From left to right: Dr. Douglas Wiens and Dr. Brian Bagley getting ready to dig out equipment and collect data from Byrd seismic station. This station will be revisited later in the season to install a Xeos Iridium modem in order to monitor the station’s state of health and to make it part of the permanent POLENET array. 

Photo credit Paul Carpenter

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From left to right: Rachel Gesserman and Paul Carpenter beginning to service seismic equipment and collect data from Siple Dome station.

Photo credit Dr. Pippa Whitehouse

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After a long day of digging, the Upper Thwaites Glacier seismic station was partially rebuilt to continue collecting data for another year.

Photo credit Rachel Gesserman

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Dr. Terry Wilson helps service the Wilson Nunatak GPS station. Besides ensuring that the stations will continue to run for another year, Dr. Wilson also investigated the bedrock at each site she visited.

Photo credit Jeremy Miner

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Pecora Escarpment GPS station after being fully serviced and left to record data for another year. The station is at the edge of an abrupt cliff, requiring personnel to harness themselves to the rock while working.

Photo credit Jeremy Miner

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Howard Nunatak GPS station after servicing, with both the seismic station and twin otter airplane visible in the background.

Photo credit Jeremy Miner

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The Mt. Suggs station is traditionally damaged by wind and bad weather. This year the station had to be rebuilt in order to continue running for another year, which required the replacement of 22 batteries.

Photo credit Jeremy Miner

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On top of this quartzite outcrop with a great view of the Duffek Mountains, the Cordiner Peak GPS station was serviced with standard maintenance procedures and left to collect data for another year.

Photo credit Jeremy Miner

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The Haag Nunatak GPS station had 2 destroyed wind turbines. Although only one was replaced, solar power will help to keep it running for another few years.

Photo credit Jeremy Miner

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From left to right: Mark Whetu and Dr. Eric Kendrick helping to install the Lepley Nunatak GPS station. After four years of trying to build this site and being unable to due to bad weather, the station is finally complete.

Photo credit Jeremy Miner

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From left to right: Mark Whetu and Dr. Eric Kendrick helping to install the Lepley Nunatak GPS station. After four years of trying to build this site and being unable to due to bad weather, the station is finally complete.
Photo credit Jeremy Miner

 

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