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Rediscovering Ross Island 2012: “G-092 Redeployed to CONUS”

Written by Ken Sims. “G-092 redeployed to CONUS” (the Continental United States). This Antarctic vernacular sounds almost Orwellian, but essentially it means that after five great weeks in Antarctica, our 2012 Ross Island Expedition, dubbed G-092, is drawing to a close. It is bitter sweet to have our expedition come to its end. I will…

Rediscovering Ross Island 2012: Penguins in the Wind

Written by Glenn Gaetani. We (Ken, Phil, Paul, Erin, Dan, and I) left McMurdo Station to spend four days at Cape Bird sampling lavas erupted from Mount Bird, a 5900 foot shield volcano that makes up the northern part of Ross Island (see blog 1 for a map). The flight from McMurdo to Cape Bird…

Xenoliths From the Mantle- Little Green Rocks From Deep Inside the Earth

Written by Kenneth W W Sims We are familiar with the geology we see on the surface of the Earth—the granite cliffs of Yosemite, the volcanoes of Hawaii, Yellowstone and Mount Saint Helens, or the red sandstone spires in the deserts of the American southwest. But what does deep inside of the Earth look like?…

Rediscovering Ross Island 2012: Awe-Inspiring Ice Caves

Written by Erin Phillips Writer After a hearty Sunday brunch at McMurdo station, Ken, Paul, Dan, and I went out for an afternoon on the snowmobiles.  This outing would allow those of us with no prior snowmobile experience to become more comfortable with the machines, as we will be using them for sampling rocks in…

Rediscovering Ross Island 2012: Erin, Dan and Paul Make Their First Helicopter Flight

Written by Paul Wallace. Mt. Terror – it sounds like something out of the Lord of the Rings, and at 10,600 feet elevation, it’s an imposing site.  Based on very limited age information, this volcano was last active about 1 million years ago and its flanks are dotted with small cinder cones and lava domes. …

Rediscovering Ross Island 2012: Lava Sampling on the North Shore

Written by Ken Sims. After all the requisite training we are now sampling the volcanic rocks on Ross Island. Yesterday while the other team members were completing their environmental training, Phil Kyle and I flew out to Lewis Bay (Plate 1 and 2) to sample the lava flows from Mount Bird that are exposed in…

Rediscovering Ross Island: Getting Ready with Survival Training

Written by Dan Rasmussen Two days isolated in the frigid expanse of the Antarctic desert lit by 24-hour sunlight with only survival equipment—at McMurdo Station, this is known as “Happy Camper School”.  Our two enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructors, Susan and Ben, led us (Paul, Erin and me) through the essential training necessary to stay safe,…

Rediscovering Ross Island: Our Arrival In Antarctica

Rediscovering Ross Island Expedition 2012 arrives in Antarctica

Rediscovering Ross Island: The 2012 Expedition to Understand the Geologic Origin of Ross Island, Antarctica

Written by Kenneth W W Sims. In 1841 James Clark Ross and crew in two tiny ships “Erebus” and “Terror” discovered Ross Island. They named the highest peaks after their ships and quickly recognized their volcanic origin. Erebus was in a state of vigorous eruptions at the time. Later in the early 1900’s British explorers…