17 November, 1997
Another real nice day here at Siple Dome. Joey and I are still surveying which could last forever. The pieces for the drill are not here so there is no ice core to analyze. Other groups are waiting on the core also. Hopefully the core will be dug soon since the Hercules C130 is suppose to be bringing in the parts tonight. The big deep drill will not be working until sometime in December after I have left.
Dr. Albert has some mini projects dealing with a pit that she and her assistant, Nancy Cloud, dug. They have done the stratigraphy and grain sizes on the ice layers. She has even taken pictures of the crystals to measure the grain sizes for more accuracy to her science. She has traced the permeability of the layers and is doing thermal conductivity on the pit. Dr. Albert has also had Dr. Joe McConnell analyze the pit for an age. They are checking the hydrogen peroxide in the layers. From the amounts of hydrogen peroxide in the layer they can tell if the layer is a spring or winter layer. There is more peroxide in the spring, summer, and especially in the fall time of the year than in the winter. By counting these layers, they get an approximation of the age of the ice. Often times, isotopes such as Oxygen 18 can also be used to determine the age of the ice.
Tonight the Hercules landed and we watched as they skied down the runway. The plane lands and then travels very slowly with the large back doors coming down and sliding along the ice. Even the runway here is ice so the planes have skies on them in order to land. Once the plane gets close enough to the camp, they drop the cargo behind the plane on the runway. It is really an amazing site to see. The plane landed somewhere around 10 P.M. but it is so light that even my camera did not need a flash. Hopefully the pictures will turn out.
The night air tonight has little sparkles of ice crystals in it. They remind me of fairies dancing in the evening sun. The sun is about 25 degrees above the horizon now and it moves about its path at this or a little higher. It appears to rotate from east to the north, then to the west and back around the south to start itís trip over. With the neat ice crystals dancing about and the sun shining brightly, it is hard to believe that I am actually on the continent of Antarctica.
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