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Lynn’s Blog: October 24th — Surveying the Route

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Expedition 3: Antarctica

Lynn’s Blog

October 24th — Surveying the Route

Lynn Kaluzienski

The field work begins!

Our group is heading to a new site for fieldwork this year approximately 15km south of where we camped last year. In order to make sure the route is safe for travel, I used high resolution satellite imagery and derived strain rates for the region to map out a potential road. Then we survey route with a piston bully and boom out front with radar to make sure there are no crevasses along the route that we won’t be able to cross.

Map of the region. The yellow box highlights our previous field site and the purple box shows this year’s field site.

Map of the region. The yellow box highlights our previous field site and the purple box shows this year’s field site.

 

Strain rate grid overlaid on Sentinel 1 satellite image. Warmer colors have a higher strain rate and are most likely to be crevassed. Pink line shows South Pole Traverse Route, and purple line shows the route we’ve selected.

Strain rate grid overlaid on Sentinel 1 satellite image. Warmer colors have a higher strain rate and are most likely to be crevassed. Pink line shows South Pole Traverse Route, and purple line shows the route we’ve selected.

Seth Campbell, Jim Lever, and I headed out to survey the route while the rest of the team stayed in McMurdo for an additional day to finish packing up the remaining gear. Once we  surveyed the route and found it safe the South Pole Traverse Crew helped tow our heavy gear to camp. They also let us stay at their base overnight (15km from where we’ll set up camp) while we wait of the rest of our team to arrive with the rest of our tents and equipment.

Lynn Kaluzienski‏ and fellow researcher surveying the route

I drive the Piston Bully as Seth Campbell looks at the data along the route to our new camp.

 

boom and radar unit out in front of the Piston Bully

Photo of boom and radar unit out in front of the Piston Bully.

 

South Pole Traverse Team helps unload gear at our new camp site. A portrait of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen adorns the cargo box that houses the robots.

South Pole Traverse Team helps unload gear at our new camp site. A portrait of the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen adorns the cargo box that houses the robots.

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