2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
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Staffed Field Camps
A total of ten field camps will have resident staff to provide logistical and operational assistance to McMurdo-based researchers.

Dry Valleys 77°30 S, 162° E
50 nautical miles from McMurdo Station

Each year, Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) grantees and other groups conduct research throughout the Dry Valleys. Two resident staff will operate the main base camp at Lake Hoare and the semi-permanent camps at Lake Fryxell, F-6, and Lake Bonney. Science project teams will erect their own small tent camps in the Garwood, Meirs, and McKelvey, Wright, and University Valleys.

Marble Point 77°41 S, 163°67 E
46 nautical miles from McMurdo Station

This camp supports refueling operations for helicopters working in the Dry Valleys and on local sea ice. Two resident staff and rotating fuels operators will operate the camp. Fuel and equipment will be delivered by traverse from McMurdo.

Siple Dome 81°39 S, 149°04 W
507 nautical miles from McMurdo Station

This camp serves as a fueling point for aircraft operating between McMurdo and West Antarctica or South Pole. Two resident staff will provide daily weather observations and maintain the camp. One science group will conduct work at Siple Dome this season: (I-172-M/Taleghader,). Siple will also house and feed Kenn Borek Air crews as needed.

WAIS Divide Field Camp 79°46 S, 112°08 W
924 nautical miles from McMurdo Station

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide field camp with 16 resident staff will support six science projects: Taylor (I-477-M) and Severinghaus (I-476-M) will continue replicate coring of the WSD borehole. Charles Bentley with the Ice Drilling Design and Operations team (T-350-M) will continue to operate the DISC Drill. Relocating from Byrd to WAIS this season will be POLENET (G-079-M/Wilson) who will continue installation, service, and removal of their GPS and seismic array throughout West Antarctica; and Lazzara (O-283-M) who will service the automatic weather station (AWS) in the vicinity. John Stone (I-414-M) may also utilize WAIS as logistical hub for their work near the Whitmore Mountains, essentially reconnaissance for future subglacial bedrock sampling.

Byrd Surface Camp 80° S by 120° W
803 nm from McMurdo Station,
and 97 nm from WAIS Divide

This camp is the hub for the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Traverse (R-762-M) whose mission is to supply fuel, vehicles, and cargo to the PIG camp. Three resident staff members support the camp. Aside from being a fuel divert stop for LC-130 missions going to/from PIG, Byrd will also support one science group. The GIMBLE project (Young G-099-M) will complete a 16-flight aerogeophysical survey of Marie Byrd Land collecting gravity, magnetics and radar data.

Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Camp -75.80° S by 100.28° E
440 nm west from Byrd Surface Camp

With a resident staff of eight and a peak camp population of forty, this camp will be support Bindschadler (C-407-M). The camp is the staging area for two A-STAR helicopters that will move science equipment, support infrastructure, and scientists to a highly-crevassed location ~45 nautical miles from the main camp. At this remote location, scientists will drill through 600 meters of ice to install instrumentation that measures ocean-ice interface to better understand the contributions to sea level rise. Drilling will occur at three separate sites over the course of two seasons. Helicopters will move scientists around the areas adjacent to the drill sites to gather data about the cavity beneath the ice shelf through seismic imaging.

Lower Erebus Hut (LEH) 77.31° S, 167.82° E
35nm from McMurdo Station

This camp serves field teams going to Mt. Erebus. One resident staff will be stationed here to assist with population, infrastructure management, helicopter scheduling-081 MEVO III (Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory.) This year Staudigal (G-439-M) will study microbial mediation of volcanic glass.

Subglacial Lake Whillans 84.14° S, 153.41° W
600nm from McMurdo Station

After testing near William's field, the WISSARD drilling equipment will be traversed to Subglacial Lake Whillans where a field camp will be established for up to two weeks of drilling and science activities. Test and field science activities will include melting a borehole to support multiple field instruments for collecting water, sediment, and ice samples. Some infrastructure will remain in the field over winter; however, the main crew and tractors will return to McMurdo late February and depart on the last flight north. Dedicated staff includes five traverse team, two marine technicians, one project coordinator, one camp operator/fuelie, a camp manager and a medical technician.

Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Traverse Operating in vicinity of Byrd Surface Camp, WAIS Divide Field Camp, and PIG Camp

Six staff will conduct two separate traverses. Traverse A will travel from Byrd Surface Camp to Pine Island Glacier moving equipment and fuel to support the helicopter/fixed wing camp based there. Traverse B will bring fuel and cargo from Byrd to WAIS in support of the POLENET/Wilson (G-079-M) relocation. The second traverse will also complete vehicle and structure overhauls in preparation for next year's traverse work.

Groom Team 82.00° S, 96.79° E
487-1090nm from McMurdo Station

Early in the season, this three contract staff will groom a ski landing area at the location of the previous CTAM helicopter camp. This landing area will assist larger aircraft with the depot of fuel and cargo in support of the groups working in the area: Conway (I-210-M, Harvey (G-057 and G-058). They will then move on to groom landing areas at the AGO sites in support of Weatherwax (A-112-M), enabling reach locations renowned for rough landing topography and allow the team to retrieve gear that was left at the sites in previous seasons.

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2012-2013 Field Season other information: Station Schedules Air Operations Staffed Field Camps Event Numbering System
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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs