2–12 February

Our normal pattern of work has been disrupted a bit this week by the arrival of a film crew on station. A team of three from the ABC have been visiting Davis to cover a range of stories, including a piece on our Sørsdal Glacier project for 7.30. You can read more about how they found the trip in This Week at Davis.

The weather behaved itself, and we had a perfect still and sunny day to show them some of the equipment on the glacier and give a couple of interviews. We then got a beautiful flight over the Sørsdal Glacier so that their cameraman, Peter, could film some of the lake features from the air. It’s a fantastic opportunity to communicate the science we’re doing to a wider audience, but also completely nerve wracking! I’m not sure if either of us will be brave enough to watch the final piece.

Luckily the good weather lasted long enough for us to get some real science done too. We took the opportunity to revisit the Channel Lake site and repeat some of the measurements made with ground penetrating radar last week, this time using our seismic equipment to image deeper below the ice. Using the two methods in conjunction allows us not only to see to greater depth, but also to extract even more information about any features we see. The two systems use different types of wave (electromagnetic vs. sound), producing complementary data sets.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to collect as many photos of the glacier from other expeditioners as possible. The more images we have, the better we can understand the development of the lakes on the surface. It’s amazing what turns up when you ask around. We have even managed to source a few images from back in 2009, which was clearly another high melt season. The lakes on the Sørsdal Glacier have been forming as far back as our records show.

In the week ahead we’ll have to wrap up our work on the glacier. The end of the summer season is close. We’ve had a good covering of snow on station, temperatures are dropping and the ship is on its way to collect everyone who isn’t staying over winter. The summer crew are rushing to get as many jobs finished as possible before the ship arrives. It will be sad to leave, but we’re also starting to look forward to seeing friends and family again. Less than four weeks until we’re home.

Dr Sue Cook