The area we will be working in is located about 400 miles from the South Pole, in the Queen Alexandra Range of the central Transantarctic Mountains. The elevation is ~6200 feet above sea level. We will be camping on snow that rests on top of a very slow moving glacier and have some pretty awesome mountainous scenery around us. Mike and Kathy were here in 2011 along with Nicole Bader, Tim Flood and Mike Roberts.
If you have questions about what its like to live and work in Antarctica, please write to us and we’ll do our best to answer your questions, though please be patient, it may take us a little while. We will be communicating by satellite phone with M.S. student, Liana Agrios, who will helping us from back home (in a nice heated building with plumbing!)
Kathy Licht – Glacial Geologist, IUPUI
Joseph Graly – Glacial Geologist, IUPUI
Christine Kassab – Glacial Geologist, IUPUI
Mike Kaplan – Geochemist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Katrin Lindbäck – Glaciologist, Uppsala University, Sweden
Peter Braddock – Mountaineer
What we are studying
Given modern warming and near-future predictions of ice sheet behavior, there is a great need to look back in time for records from Antarctica’s interior to understand the controls on ice sheet changes. Laterally extensive, blue-ice moraines in Antarctica appear to hold unique and relatively untapped records of ice sheet and climate history over multiple glacial cycles. Such moraines form where ice flow off the East Antarctic plateau is interrupted by protruding mountain peaks that divert flow and deliver rocks and sediment to the ice sheet surface. We are testing the idea that blue ice moraines record changes in ice flow that reflects the behavior of both the East and West Antarctic ice sheets. We will be looking into the ice using ground penetrating radar, measuring the velocity of the ice using GPS, and determining the age of the deposit with cosmogenic multi-nuclide analyses.