Expedition 3: Antarctica

In October and November, 2017, Lynn Kaluzienski, a Ph.D. student in UMaine’s Department of Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Change Institute, visited the McMurdo Shear Zone in Antarctica. The Shear Zone is the area between the McMurdo and Ross Ice Shelves. The Ross shelf is moving faster than the McMurdo, and crevasses are formed in the area. There’s potential for unstable behavior in the ice in this area, and Lynn used GPS surveys and ground penetrating radar to develop detailed maps of these crevasses. Because of the crevasses, it is dangerous to travel in the area, so she used a robot to obtain the ground penetrating radar surveys.

The information Lynn collected is important for several reasons, including implications for travel to and from the US Antarctic Program’s South Pole station over this dangerous area, and possibilities of sea level rise with different movements of the ice shelves.