|LC-130 arrival at PIG main camp|
PIG main camp is impressive in its size. The photo below shows most of the bigger structures, which includes a large galley tent, and several tents for the helicopter operation, a medical tent, a comms tent, and a few others. Now all that was left was to wait for the helicopters to arrive. The plan was for two helicopters to be flown to PIG main in LC-130 aircraft. They would then be re-assembled and used to fly a hot water drill to the Pine Island ice shelf. We would then drill a hole through the shelf to make measurements underneath it. The main quantity of interest is the amount of melting under the ice shelf, because it determines its stability and fate.
|PIG main camp|
|Communal hot tub|
An LC-130 (here on a take-off attempt) came and got most of the people out. But we managed to secure some Twin Otter support, to put out a network of seismic and GPS stations.
The flight to the ice shelf was spectacular. PIG is one of the fastest flowing glaciers in Antarctica (about 4 km/year). The fast flowing part is separated from the slower moving ice by a shear zone, where the ice is jumbled up into huge towers of ice that looks like it's been put through a grinder.
|The shear zone|
|Pine Island Glacier shear zone|
|Sun bathing on a Twin Otter|
|GPS and seismic station on PIG ice shelf|
|Twin Otter with seismic and GPS station|