Fresh off the Ice – Antarctic summer reports 2016-17

Wellington Branch

Date: 16 Mar 2017 - 16 Mar 2017
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SGEES Seminar Room, CO304, Cotton Building, Kelburn Campus, VUW


Rebecca Pyne, GNS Science – My Antarctic dream, and what it was really like.

I’ve always been interested in Antarctica, and last season I made it down there for the first time – as a team member of the Friis Hills Drilling Project. Understanding how Antarctica influences our climate is important but it also sparks our imaginations. I will take you through my Antarctica adventure – from first sighting to the wind-carved rocks of Dry Valleys, and of course the drilling.

Kevin Norton, VUW – N Victoria Land record of sea level rise

Four SGEES scientists spent last November collecting rocks up the walls of the Tucker Glacier for estimating when they became exposed as the ice surface lowered after the Last Glacial Maximum 20,000 years ago. Our field work also involved new technology to create high-resolution digital terrain maps of the area, all as part of a larger effort to identify the source for Meltwater Pulse 1a, a rapid sea level rise event 12,000 years ago.

Natalie Robinson, NIWA – Melting ice shelves and freezing ocean

This new work on the Ross Ice Shelf/McMurdo Sound system is aimed at quantifying connections between ice shelf meltwater production and sea ice growth, and will involve incorporating small- scale processes into large-scale computer simulations. Initial results suggest that ice shelf meltwater could directly influence sea ice processes 100 – 200 km from the shelf front.

Alex Pyne, VUW – Testing VUW1000M in Windless Bight

VUW1000M is a hot water drill developed to make access holes for the Ross Ice Shelf project. It is designed to make a 35-cm-wide hole through shelf ice up to 1000 m thick. This also involves a reamer for enlarging the hole, and keeping it open for sea floorcoring, and running instruments through the water beneath. Videos show the drill performed well, though fine-tuning is needed.


Sign up to our newsletter

All the latest news directly in your inbox

The Society’s quarterly e-newsletter provides an important overview of key activity affecting the Antarctic region. Sign-up and keep up to date.