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Fall 2012 Expedition to Antarctica

October 2012

On Oct. 10, Principal Investigator Eugene Domack, the J. W. Johnson Family Professorship of Environmental Studies, began an 18-day cruise to Antarctica along with two Hamilton students and two alumni. The team will be engaged in collecting and analyzing ocean floor sediment core samples from the western drainage of the Bruce Plateau Ice Dome. They will be testing findings from previous expeditions for which Domack served as principal investigator.

The team will also be installing a cGPS station, the seventh of its kind on the Antarctic Peninsula and a part of the cGPS network established by the LARISSA (LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica) project. These stations continuously transmit meteorological data and elevation data to enable researchers to quantify crustal rebound and determine how it relates to warming and ice mass loss/gain on the Antarctic Peninsula. 

Sailing on the LM Gould, the Hamilton researchers will stop at Copacabana field camp on King George Island in the South Shetlands where several scientists studying penguin populations will disembark with their field gear. The ship will continue on to several locations along the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula including Palmer Station and Hugo Island.

Hamilton cruise participants include Deanna D’Amato Nappi ’15, Katie Davies Smith ’13, Garrett Akie ’12 and palaeoceanographer and University College (London) lecturer Amelia Shevenell ’96.

This expedition has been informally called LARISSA II. The LARISSA project was part of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Integrated Systems Science (AISS) department. It was initiated in 2007 in response to the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002. The collapse prompted scientist to discover as much as possible about the newly exposed area. It was the first interdisciplinary project funded in the AISS program of the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs and was officially launched in the closing days of the International Polar Year.

The final shot of Punta Arenas as the Laurence M. Gould pulls away from the port on October 10.

Updates from the Deck

Hamilton students shared photos and updates as they conducted their research in Antarctica. More ...

The massive calving front of Cayley Glacier from the LMG in Brialmont Cove (Hughes Bay). It is this glacier that generates a cold-tongue.
The massive calving front of Cayley Glacier from the LMG in Brialmont Cove (Hughes Bay). It is this glacier that generates a cold-tongue.
Katy Smith '13 shows off her Hamilton pride after a hike up to the top of a glacier on Anvers Island.
Katy Smith '13 shows off her Hamilton pride after a hike up to the top of a glacier on Anvers Island.
LMG has finally docked at Palmer Station on Anvers Island
LMG has finally docked at Palmer Station on Anvers Island
Cupola