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Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 1972-73: VUWAE 17


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Dr. Peter Barrett (Director, Antarctic Research Unit, VUW), following discussions with Freeman, Keys, Kyle and Dr. T. Shirtcliffe (Physics Department) submitted a proposal to the March meeting of RDRC outlining a programme for VUWAE 17. The programme was approved and passed on to Antarctic Division.

In summary it was proposed to send six members to Antarctica with the following projects and objectives.

1. McMurdo Volcanics Project

To continue mapping and sampling rocks of the McMurdo Volcanics mainly at previously unvisited localities in the McMurdo Sound area. The programme includes working in with the Dry Valley Drilling Project's deep drilling at McMurdo Station.

2. Salts Project

To plot the distribution and to establish the physical and chemical forms of salts accumulating in ice-free areas of south Victoria Land, and to then determine their origin and mechanism of migration.

3. Shapeless Mountain Project

To complete a programme of paleomagnetic sampling of previously dated flows in the McMurdo Volcanics, and to use paleomagnetic measure-merits to determine the temperature of emplacement of dykes and flows of Mawson Volcanobreccia in the Shapeless Mountain area.

4. Lake Vanda Project

To check on the physical limnology of Lake Vanda to compare with measurements made by VUWAE 12 5 years ago, and to measure profiles of current velocity.

Major requirements requested from Antarctic Division were:-

Toboggans, spares and tools 1 Oct. 23 - Nov. 8
2 Dec. 2 - Jan. 18
1 Dec. 28 - Jan. 13
Sleds 3
Polar tents 3
Petrol 60 gals.
Kerosene for primuses 52 gals.
Kerosene for drill coolant 40 gals.
Food 18 20-man day food boxes

Scott Base assistant/mechanic from Nov. 12 - Jan. 23

Logistic support requested was:-

44 hours (17 flights) helicopter time.

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Further Planning

In mid-June a revised itinerary, a list of major requirements and a table of flight requirements, destinations and cargo weights were submitted to Antarctic Division (Appendix I).

A change in the commencement date for drilling of the DVDP McMurdo drill hole allowed Kyle to change his programme, enabling him to Join Dr, G. Lyon (Institute of Nuclear Sciences, D.S.I.R.) on the proposed Mts. Melbourne and Erebus volcanological studies. This plus other minor changes were implemented following discussion between Kyle and Peter Frazer, Officer in Charge, Scott Base.