Posted by: sioglac | Jan 9, 2012

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

So the day after my last post, Lucas and I got our second Twin Otter flight, finished our GPS work and life was good. That left only seismic work to do, which requires good weather. Remember before when I said we were shooting 40km of seismic data? Yeah, I forgot about the fourth line. It’s actually a total of 50km. When we were done with GPS work, we had shot 24 km of the 50. We needed 5 days of good weather before we could leave.

Two bad days of weather later, we were a bit worried. But at last the weather cleared. We shot 8km of seismic yesterday (Sunday!) and another 8km today, leaving us with about a day and a half of work left here on the ice. We are in a great position to finish and get out of here in the near future (I better not be jinxing us here).

But that’s not why I’m writing this. Today we had two pretty strange occurrences:

(1) It snowed today. Enough to accumulate (like half an inch or so!). Which means we have seen more snow than most of the Midwest this year. And after it snowed all morning through the early afternoon, the sun came out for a bit and the new snow surface had a popcorn-like texture and was super sparkly and beautiful. Really neat to see that.

(2) We had quite a unique 10 minute delay while collecting data today. Three skuas (the McMurdo equivalent of pigeons, only way way bigger) decided to fly out here to visit. And seemed to think that the geophones (the fancy name for the microphones we use to acquire seismic data) were food. I don’t blame them… it’s the only not-white surface feature for hundreds of miles. But we really didn’t appreciate the constant pecking on our microphones. Perhaps obviously you will see pictures when I have real Internet again.

Anywho, Huw had to drive down and scare them off. As it turns out loud skidoos don’t phase skuas. So it took a bit more doing than that, but fear not. The birds were not touched and the Antarctic Treaty was not broken. Oh to be an animal in Antarctica with no predators and an international treaty on top of that…

On the packing list for next year: scarecrows.



  1. totally jinxing yourself

  2. […] and this was what we did for more than half the season. I talked a little about our active seismic work, but as my 9th grade English teacher taught me, why tell when you can […]

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