Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Yeti Goes to Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

Yeti's next adventure is his maiden voyage of science!  This current deployment will be the first ALL SCIENCE campaign to the Poles, which is very exciting for proving his utility for scientific applications as well as for logistic support. 

Yeti will be accompanying an 11-person team of scientists studying Mount Erebus, the highest and southern-most active volcano in the world.  The Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory (MEVO) at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology has been monitoring Mt. Erebus since 1972.  At the head of our team is Phil Kyle, one of the pioneering scientists of Erebus who will be celebrating his 40th season this year. 

Yeti's role in this year's Erebus season will be to collect ground penetrating radar (GPR) images of ice caves that form within the snowpack surrounding the crater.  These caves are formed by fumaroles, which are openings in the volcano that emit steam and various gasses.  Microclimate, heat transfer, extent, and structure are just some of the scientific aspects that are of interest. 

A view of Mt. Erebus from approximately 30 miles south.  A small plume of gas escapes on a nearly windless day.


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