15 November, 1999
Science Lecture Series
There are two regular science lectures given at McMurdo Station. One on Sunday evenings is for general audiences and explains some of the projects happening on Antarctica and the surrounding ice. The other series is held on Wednesday evenings and presents highly technical science with supporting evidence for theories. I attended the presentation given to both series by Norbert Wu, a marine photographer.
Norbert dives and photographs marine life all over the world. He is currently here in Antarctica as an artist in residence with his support team of divers. Peter Brueggeman, Director of the Library at Scripts has created a great web site with some good research on the marine life. He dives with Norbert and worked with him during their undergraduate years.
Some of the slides of the ice stalagtights are really interesting. Here is what happens. As sea ice forms, the ice freezes and "squeezes out" the salt. As more and more salt gets squeezed out, the water becomes more and more saline. As such it can absorb more heat. It is also ore dense than the surrounding water. Small depressions begin to form in the ice and the more dense saline water flows down. As the more saline water absorbs heat from the liquid water around it, the liquid freezes forming a tube of ice with super saline water inside. The tubes "grow" into long projections into the seawater beneath the ice and form a spectacular scene. TO see what these look like and to learn more about other Antarctic marine life check out the web site: www.scilib.ucsd.edu/sio/nsf
I will send along some photos of marine animals that this project collected for photography purposes. They will be returned after the photography. There will probably be a TV program special made from the video that was taken here by Norbert Wu and his diving team. He is also experimenting with high-density digital photography. He showed some of that film during a science night lecture. He also showed the very expensive camera that he is using to document penguin and seal swimming behavior.
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