From Davis station: science, data, radio training, and Weddell seals.

Nick’s Cartoon of the Week

When scientists Alyce and Sarah have a problem in the field and they need a quick safe solution, they can always rely on the trades team to either:

1) assist by using station equipment, or

2) ask the trades team to design and build the equipment

Either way, it’s never a problem for long!

In the name of science

On Wednesday, Sarah and myself headed along Crooked Fjord to sample some lakes in the Mules Peninsula area, as well as test some sampling gear in preparation for the upcoming Rauer Island trip. Unfortunately the day was quite unsuccessful in terms of work but it was a very scenic drive with many interesting discoveries found.

Along Crooked Fjord we found a patch of ice containing many different types of algae, what we believe was an urchin and lying on top of the ice, half a scallop shell. We were quite surprised by this as neither of us knew at that stage that we got scallops here at Davis, since talking to other people we have found out they are actually quite common in nearshore Antarctic environments.

As we continued driving we found more similar patches of ice and lots more scallop shells, algae and sponges. Some of the scallop shells were lying just on the surface of the ice/snow and others frozen into the ice. The rest of the drive along Crooked Fjord became ‘scallop shell watching’ to ensure we didn’t run over any with the Hägglunds and crush them.

Alyce Hancock

Science — downloading data from the stress buoys

During the week Josh and Dave visited the Stress and SAMS buoys which are located just off station. The purpose of the regular visits is to ensure the equipment is working well and continues to send data back to Australia.

These buoys measure the ambient air, ice and water temperatures and can measure the sea ice in three dimensions.

HF radio training

With a trip over to the Rauers (an area located on the other side of the Sørsdal glacier) planned for next month there’s quite a lot to do before the team can set off.

During the week, the team of eight were given instructions on how to use the HF radio and iridium phone if for some reason the VHF radio failed. The team also spent time assembling the small camp stoves and discussed the field gear they'll need to take with them. More training is scheduled for this weekend providing the weather is suitable. We will post more photos in next week’s news.

Scenery and wildlife