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Whiteout in Antarctica: Week 3


December 23, 2018

By Ted Daeschler, PhD
Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science
Associate Curator of Vertebrate Zoology, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

We got our team into our field site at Deception Glacier on December 19 and 20. Weather was clear for the move days, and we set up camp in a ravine bounded by Devonian outcrop on one side and a tongue of glacial ice on the other.  We are well protected from prevailing winds from off the ice cap.

Daeschler transmitted this image of his campsite with his colleagues during low visibility conditions. The yellow tents are the only protection from the wind and snow.

Unfortunately, despite the excitement to be here, the  weather turned bad. Blowing snow and “white out” conditions kept us in place for two days and left a thick blanket of new snow on the landscape, including obscuring the rock outcrops that we will be searching for fossil fish.

Christmas Day at the field camp in Antarctica.

We are in the process of exploring for better-exposed rock and waiting for the sun and wind to open much of the rock exposure that we flew past  just a week ago. It may take some time, but we’ll be collecting fossils soon!

Text and Photos by Ted Daeschler, PhD, curator of paleontology and professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science.

See Ted’s post last week from Antarctica.