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6 December, 2002

Determining the Transect

We want to collect our samples at specific locations. In order to determine where we are in the Taylor we use the Global Positioning System. Using the link, look at the chart posted for our first transect,tea.rice.edu/schulzantarctica/chart.html The numbers at the top of the chart under east and north are actual meters of distance and can

be used to plot where we took the soil samples. The numbers along the two axes of the chart represent a metered grid for map projections. The numbers are in UTM which stands for Universal Transverse Mercator. This is a universally accepted method. The entire earth is divided into 60 zones, each with a number. We are using zone 58 south. If you want to learn more about the UTM system, do an electronic search for UTM and their web site should appear for you. www.nps.gov/prwi/readutm.htm

The black line in the chart represents a line up the middle of the Taylor valley. Now you can see by the red dots where we took our soil samples.

As you look at the chart, what do you think about where we collected our samples? Is there any part that we need to do over?

Did we collect samples in a straight line? Does it matter? There is a map of this area posted as well. Look at the map and compare the chart with the map. Can you see the marks on the map indicating collection sites? Can you see the altitude at which each sample was taken?

What kind of experience and equipment do we need to be able to tell exactly where we are?

Blood Falls is at the end of the Taylor Glacier. What do you think is the cause of the reddish color that we see coming out of the glacier? Do you think anything might be living in the soil here?

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