Bel Antar 2018

Mission belge Antarctique 2018

One week in the field


By Hugues Goosse

We are on our main field camp for one week and thus fully devoted to the data collection.

The weather conditions are generally good up to now, with perfect visibility and relatively high temperatures. This is ideal conditions for the radar measurements of the snow and ice thicknesses and of the structure of the snow layers.

Measuring snow thickness along several kilometers long transects using a radar in a sledge tracted by a snow mobile

Measuring snow thickness along several kilometers long transects using a radar in a sledge tracted by a snow mobile

This also a good opportunity to sample different regions surrounding the camp and measure the density and properties of the top meters of the snow.

The ice drilling is progressing well. The 100 m limit was reached December 23rd and this was the opportunity for a small celebration. Unfortunately, the good weather is not ideal for ice coring. The temperature is too high during the day, with potential melting on surfaces facing the sun.

The drillers has thus now to work during ‘night’, when the sun is still above the horizon but the temperature is lower. This means that we have two teams, with different timing. We can still share some of the meals, although it is breakfast for some and dinners for the others.

We are indeed fully devoted to data collection but we still took some time for the small Christmas celebration. After our meal, we had a drink using some debris for the ice coring.

Group photo with our Christmas presents behind the trees sclupted in the ice

Group photo with our Christmas presents behind the trees sclupted in the ice (Pic : Nander Wever)

Below around 50 meters, air bubbles are sealed when snow becomes ice under the pressure. Those bubbles are for instance used to reconstruct past changes in atmospheric conditions.

The air bubbles sealed in the ice

The air bubbles sealed in the ice (Pic : Nander Wever)

When the ice melts in your glass, the bubbles are released, making a nice and delicate sound.

Listening the sound of the bubbles released when ice melt in our small kitchen

Listening the sound of the bubbles released when ice melt in our small kitchen


1 Comment

  1. Stefan Van Vaerenbergh

    29 December 2018 at 17 h 53 min

    Nice xmas tree! Have a nice end of year, and btw, your cold room is working fine (may colder than where you are ), thank you very much

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