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maandag 7 december 2015

Second field season coming up...

The second field season is coming closer and the BENEMELT team is getting ready to leave. From the 4th of January on I (Stef Lhermitte, KULeuven) will spend almost 6 weeks in Antarctica together with Mark Eijkelboom (IMAU, Utrecht University). This year we will again team up with the IceCon project of ULB. The goal remains to study the melt on the Roi Baudoin ice shelf in order to improve our understanding of the stability of the ice shelf on the long term.

This year’s expedition will focus on the one hand on the collection of ice cores. On the other hand we will collect spectral albedo data in combination with snow grain size and snow temperature measurements, whereas the ULB team will concentrate on radar measurements. These data in combination with the weather station (see Data) will give insight in the amount of melt on the Roi Baudoin ice shelf. Moreover, they will allow us to couple our study to the regional climate model data and satellite data in order to extend our measurements to the entire ice shelf. Finally, we plan to visit the dolines, which created some buzz last year. It will be an exceptional trip with quite some distances to cover.

The planned locations for field measurements

The preparations are running at full speed now. Thanks to the support of the Polar Secretariat, AntarctiQ and the military, we have been well prepared, including a training at the military facilities in Marche Les Dames. Some of our instruments will arrive later this week, so next week we can start packing. The field guides told us they will do a terrain reconnaissance later this week to check where to put the base camp etc. So it seems we are almost ready to leave, but in the meantime will keep you updated here.

Stef and Mark at the military training 
Sleeping in polar conditions ;-)

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