2016-2017 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2016-2017 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Alien Landscapes

Erebus morphology will be studied as analog to outer solar system volcanism (Triton pictured).
Tradigital painting by: Michael Carroll


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Ms. Valentine Kass

ASC POC/Implementer:
Jenny Cunningham / Michael Lucibella

Principal Investigator

Mr. Michael W Carroll

Littleton, Colorado


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Lower Erebus Hut


The otherworldly landscapes of Antarctica inspire both artists and scientists, each seeking to understand how they came to be and where else in the universe one might find similar icy, alien geology, and even microbial lifeforms. The overall goal of this project is to bring together art and science to produce a book in which both subjects will inspire greater understanding of our world and others. One participant will use acquired knowledge of planetary geology to seek out landscapes and geologic features in Antarctica that are analogous to those in distant worlds, advising the other participant as they depict these scenes in paintings. The group aims to paint and photograph the landscapes of Antarctica that are analogous to those of other worlds and use them to visualize what could be seen in distant worlds.

Field Season Overview

Two participants will acclimatize at Fang Camp before spending a week at Lower Erebus Hut (LEH). They will be transported to and from the Mount Erebus camps by helicopter. The team will use snowmobiles as available to access sites around LEH including the crater rim, Tower Ridge, and non-pristine/non-technical ice caves. A staff member of Field Safety and Training will accompany the participants to field sites.

Deploying Team Members

  • Michael Carroll (PI)
  • Rosaly Lopes