Skip to main content
Expeditions

Expeditions

Suspended animation

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the eighteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com's In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles."

AGAP SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA—For much of the past two months, our collection of tents in the middle of East Antarctica has been buzzing with activity and nervous energy. 

At the peak of our work, four hot meals were served every day...

January 19, 2009 — Robin Bell

Line by line

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the seventeenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com's in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." AGAP SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA—Weather pinned us down most of the time between Christmas and New Year's Day.  Since the weather cleared, we have been trying to fly whenever we can...

January 15, 2009 — Robin Bell

A picture is worth a thousand words

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the sixteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com 's In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles."
AGAP SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA—Since we first conceived this project, we have been acutely aware of the limited amount of time we would have in the field.  We wanted 35 days to complete the planned program...

January 6, 2009 — Robin Bell

At AGAP camp at last

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the fifteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com's in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." AGAP SOUTH CAMP, ANTARCTICA —Yesterday morning the sky at the South Pole had the kind of ‘iffy’ look that made my stomach turn.  Instead of the normal brilliant blue, there were clouds on the horizon and sparkling ice crystals blowing past in the air...

December 30, 2008 — Robin Bell

Rising frustration

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the fourteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com's in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." THE SOUTH POLE -- We are now 10 days behind schedule...

December 24, 2008 — Robin Bell

A long weekend at the South Pole

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the thirteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com's in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARTICA-- We are all strapped into our seats preparing for our last ride to the Willy Ice Runway when I have a momentary panic...

December 23, 2008 — Robin Bell

Kicking rocks

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the thirteenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com 's in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA -- Last Saturday, we had a flurry of activity...

December 19, 2008 — Robin Bell

Running into an invisible wall

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the twelfth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com 's In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles."   McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA--The British group had been acclimatizing at South Pole for three full days when it seemed we were ready to collect our first real line of data at the southern end of the survey area...

December 19, 2008 — Robin Bell

Almost calibrated

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the eleventh of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com 's in-depth report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA (December 10) -- Flying over any town is an unusual request and McMurdo is not an exception.  When I asked if we could fly at 1,000 feet over town, I was greeted with skeptical looks.  McMurdo is nestled beneath a valley between Observation Hill and Hut Point.  The request sounded like a boondoggle.  I had to explain that to ensure the laser is correctly aligned with the aircraft frame, we have fly over pointed roofs.  Our Reigl laser is developed in Austria where there are ample pointed roofs for calibrating the instrument.  There are not many pointed roofs in Antarctica so flying over McMurdo seemed like the obvious answer...

December 17, 2008 — Robin Bell

Crackling pretzels

Editor's note: Marine geophysicist Robin Bell is leading an expedition to Antarctica to explore a mysterious mountain range beneath the ice sheet. Following is the tenth of her updates on the effort as part of ScientificAmerican.com 's In-Depth Report on the "Future of the Poles." McMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA—I expected to find a piece of machinery snapping away when I rounded the corner...

December 11, 2008 — Robin Bell

Blog Index

Scroll To Top