Dispatches from Antarctica – Rothera

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!


26 January 2010

Team benthos at Rothera. Dr. Craig Smith (left) and Dr. Laura Grange (center-right) will document how Larsen B seafloor invertebrate communities have changed following ice-shelf collapse. Dr. Mike McCormick (right) will describe bacteria and archaea living in cold-seep sediments. David Honig (center-left) will describe seep-associated invertebrate communities. The R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer (far right) will demolish fast ice in the name of science.


We will leave our cryosphere team at the UK base Rothera for the next few weeks. While they fly out to field sites via twin otter aircraft, the rest of LARISSA will take the Palmer to Erebus and Terror Gulf. From this vantage point we will reassess ice conditions hopefully break our way into the Larsen B . . . that is, after a few hours of R&R here at Rothera.

Satellite images show cracks appearing in the Larsen B fast ice. A little over a month remains. Let’s do this!

The Palmer asserts its place at the Rothera docks.
A skua, likely preparing to dive-bomb someone. Skuas are notoriously territorial during nesting season.

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