3 December, 1996
December 3rd, 1996
With the clouds looking like they may break, we checked out a van this morning. It had quit snowing, but based on our experience before, we were worried that would just mean that the snow surface had been filled in. After lunch we thought there would be enough sun to take some data.
Before we went to the field we took the broken radio to Mac Elex, the radio shop, to exchange it. They ran some quick tests and determined that the hand set was the only part malfunctioning (which is why we could listen but not talk). They traded out the hand set and replaced the barter. Mrs. Bennett and I set up the radio at Willie Field for a radio check and it worked fine. Then we turned our attention to the snow surface.
The features that had been created while we were in the field were erosion features. This meant that they were "snow blasted" by the winds. They were much larger than the ripples, and we couldn't use our apparatus on them. As we feared these features had filled with snow. The new snow from Monday was quite soft and fluffy were as the old snow surface from the three day storm was very hard. You could actually dig up the old features. We did this to show that the conditions at Willie during this time created the same features that we saw at Ferrel AWS.
What was really exciting though was the fact that we could see new features. We finally had the wind ripples that we were planning on! We took data from 3:30 until it clouded over at 7:00, missing dinner. We ate dinner in the van hoping the sky would clear, but returned to McMurdo around 8:00 PM. We then returned to the lab to get some more work done. Dr. Braaten was working on the regulators, with which he has had some problems. When they get cold, the seals start to have troubles. Mrs. Bennett and I turned in early, about 11:00pm, so that we could get up early the next day, hopefully we would get some more sun.
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