This is a complex and challenging project. Many parts of the work are at the cutting edge of science, technology or logistic capabilities. Each of these problems must be successfully overcome for complete success. The sequence of separate project elements is:
Click an element to view details and images.
Landsat image - January 2007
High- Resolution Image 1785x1683 pixels, 1.1MB
Our attention to the activity of this area came from satellite observations. Those and other observations are being used to become as familiar as possible with the area before going there. The more we know from this remote study, the better prepared we will be to accomplish the later tasks.
Imagery from space has been extraordinarily useful. With high-resolution sensors, we can see crevasses (cracks in the ice)—lots of them—BIG ones!—tens of meters across and hundreds of meters long (and probably tens of meters deep). We have observed one "sweet spot" absent of crevasses and have seen it remain crevasse-free for many years. That’s where our camp will be.
Satellite altimetry has given us a feel for the surface relief. The surface is made up of a series of ridges and valleys aligned with the flow. The ridge tops can be 20 meters higher than the valley bottoms over a distance of just a couple of kilometers. It’s rolling terrain.