10 December, 2001
I had another wonderful night of sleep, although my dreams were quite vivid and long lasting. It reminded me of the dreams I had while on Malaria medication in the Amazon. Nonetheless, with a full night of sleep I felt very energetic upon waking from my tent. The tent gets so cozy during the night that it is difficult to head outside back into the cold.
After making breakfast in the kitchen tent, we boarded the plane again to gather more geologic samples. Most of the rocks that we had gathered were granites. The fact that granites are present tells a little about the history of the mountains. Granite is an intrusive igneous rock, which means that it forms deep beneath the Earth's surface from slowly cooling magma. Since the granite is now exposed, it indicated that a great deal of erosion must have taken place. The exposure of the granites due to erosion is one of the factors that the Syracuse geologists are using in their research.
A very interesting observation was made by Dr. Fitzgerald today. We had been using maps that were created in the 1960's to locate Nanataks for obtaining geologic samples. Today we noticed a Nanatak that was not on the map...new territory! Dr. Fitzgerald suggested that it was evidence of global warming. In the 1960's this mountain top was still buried under the glacier. As the glacier melted and it became exposed for our discovery.
Before the day drew to a conclusion, we asked the pilots to fly us to this new territory so we could gather some samples. It was strange to stand on at a spot of the planet that no human has previously stood upon. This honor allowed us to give it a name. We considered naming it after Simon's mother, 'Mrs. Kline Nanatak'. However, with harsh weather approaching, we uncreatively decided that calling it the 'New Territory Nanatak' would do for the time being.
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