The ISTAR ice investigation team has returned to UK after a gruelling but successful 1500km journey across West Antarctica. The ocean investigation team is now onboard the RRS James Clark Ross heading for the Amundsen Sea for the next leg of the 2013-14 field season. The ice and ocean research teams met up briefly in Punta Arenas in Chile as they passed through on their way home or enroute south.
At 01:30 (GMT) on 8th January, the 12-person team completed their final science task for this year’s iSTAR traverse on Pine Island Glacier; the neutron probe made it’s measurement of snow density at the last work site, bringing to an end the scheduled scientific experiments.
Programme lead Dr Andy Smith from British Antarctic Survey said,
“The traverse has been a huge success. We visited all the proposed sites on the route, conducted considerably more experiments than had been originally planned and completed much quicker than expected. Our success has been thanks to the excellent support we have received, the sheer hard work and dedication of all the traverse members and some good luck with the weather. We are very pleased to have successfully completed this year’s deep-field work”.
The traverse vehicles and equipment will now move to an overwinter location until they are required at next season.
This year’s iSTAR ice-traverse team was Anna Hogg & Thomas Flament (University of Leeds); Steph Cornford (University of Bristol); Rob Bingham & Damon Davies (University of Edinburgh); Peter Lambert (University of Reading); and Andy Smith, David Vaughan, Jan DeRydt, James Wake, Tim Gee, Jonny Yates (British Antarctic Survey).