A week of science support at Davis

Opening of the sea ice brings quad bike travel to Davis

The sea ice around Davis that’s stuck fast to the shore has been steadily growing in thickness over the last couple of cooler months. Now having reached a thickness safe for travel it has been officially opened up, allowing new travel opportunities both to complete science work and recreation.

With the ability to travel on the sea ice by quad bike there has been a small rush of science tasks that have been waiting. We visited Magnetic Island which is about 4 kms off the coast of Davis station to retrieve images from a camera monitoring Adélie penguin breeding over summer. Several instruments were installed into the sea ice itself, monitoring the temperature profile and stresses in the ice and an Automatic Weather Station was visited for some repairs and data collection.

As well as all these extra work opportunities we now have some great new areas of the Vestfold Hills we can get to for recreation, which were previously difficult to access via foot because of the time required to cover the distance. The first quad bike recreational trip went out over the weekend to Watts Hut and included a cold yet spectacular walk to a high point to view the Sørzdal Glacier. Everyone on station is now eagerly planning their future trips to new areas yet to be explored this season, making for some exciting times ahead.

By Derryn Harvie, Science Electronics Engineer.

Data downloading

This week was time to download data from various data loggers located out at Adams Flat, around 6kms from station on Dingle Road. The data downloads and well dipping records are part of the ongoing Year Round Aviation Access project.

The sensors are located down a bore hole at various depths and have thermistor sensors located at different intervals down the hole and are recording temperature.

The manual well dips are performed by dropping a measuring tape down a bore hole and reading off the measurement from the top.

There is also an Automatic Weather Station located at Adams Flat which records the wind speed, humidity, temperature and snow depth. This also needs to be downloaded via a laptop during the winter months.

Usually the SCTO (Station Communication Technical Officer) and one other expeditioner will travel out to Adams Flat in a Hägglunds and spend almost one whole day locating and downloading the data. This time it was Trev (SCTO) and Kate (Doctor) who performed the task.

By Trevor Crews, Station Communication Technical Officer.