Dispatches from Antarctica – Icebergs and Whales

David Honig is a graduate student in marine science at Duke University in the lab of Dr. Cindy Van Dover. He is participating in LARISSA, a 2 month multinational expedition to study the causes and consequences of the ice shelf collapse. He will be posting regular updates on the expedition exclusively for Deep Sea News readers!


12 January 2010

Back in the Bransfield

No safe routes to the Larsen B embayment currently exist through the fast ice. Since we cannot access our marine sampling stations, we are now preceding through the Bransfield Strait to fjords on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula where we will use helicopters to ferry the cryosphere team to the glaciers that formerly fed into the Larsen B Ice Shelf. We will likely remain there for two to three weeks as monitoring stations are installed on the glaciers and (hopefully) storms clear fast ice from the Larsen B embayment.

In other news, we finished processing the whale bones. Over two days of work on six hours of sleep!

Dr. Martin Truffer photographs an iceberg in the tumultuous Bransfield Strait.


13 January 2010

Whales in Flandres Bay

Having just finished scouring whale bones it is only appropriate that we get to see living whales. Three humpbacks (just a guess—any whale experts out there?) heralded our arrival into Flandres Bay by swimming under the boat.

Inclement weather prevented helicopter operations today. The marine ecosystems team will begin ROV work tomorrow.

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