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Victoria University Antarctic Research Expedition Science and Logistics Reports 2002-03: VUWAE 47


The data and sample gathering phase of the Windless Bight project has now been successfully completed. Some results are immediately apparent and are summarised below. Others require further data reduction and analysis. Roles and responsibilities for the field phase just completed are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. The K-042 team for the Windless Bight survey
Peter Barrett, VUW Scientific Leader Overall programme & scientific report.
Alex Pyne, VUW Field Leader Field programme and logistics report. Setting and retrieving oceanographic instruments and bottom sampling equipment. Analysis of current measurements for sea riser modeling.
Gavin Dunbar, VUW Scientist Assistance with setting and retrieving oceanographic instruments. Visual core description. Sampling of bottom sediments. Subsequent textural analysis and organisation of supporting analyses
Lionel Carter, NIWA Scientist Assistance with setting and retrieving oceanographic instruments. Analysis of water column CTD data
Natalie Robinson, VUW Scientist Analysis of water column current data.
Christina Riesselman, Stanford U Scientist Analysis of water and particulate chemistry from the water column. Microfossil analysis of water column particles and sea floor sediment.
Giovanna Giorgetti, Siena Scientist Petrographic analysis of bottom sediments
Frank Niessen, AWI Scientist Acoustic sounding, gravity coring. Sediment physical properties (including shear strength)
Uwe Nixdorf, AWI Engineer HW drilling Drilling and maintaining access holes. Ice shelf observations.
Erich Dunker AWI Asst Eng HW drilling Drilling and maintaining access holes, Development of gravity corer
Jonathan Leitch, VUW Eng plant & camp Maintaining plant and camp operations
Dougal Mason,VUW Field assistant Assisting drilling access holes

Camp was set up on the first site at the intersection of seismic lines MIS-1 and MIS-2 on January 3. However, because the site was too close to one of the approaches to a runway on Williams Field it had to be moved 1.75 northward along the seismic line to 77° 53 308′S; 167° 17.753′E and was designated HWD03-1 or Site 1 (Fig. 1). At the same time a Broadband ADCP current meter was installed in sea ice at the edge of the ice shelf south of Scott Base (77° 52.773″S; 166° 50.042′E) to record currents to 400 m depth continuously over the following 3-4 weeks. The hole at Site 1 was drilled on January 11 and after 4 attempts successfully reamed finally on January 12 (midnight) to a diameter of > 0.56 m throughout. Measurements and sampling through the hole took place from January 13 to 22. On January 23 and 24 the camp was shifted 7 km northeast to the second site to be occupied (HWD03-2 or Site 2). The access hole was drilled on January 26, reamed finally on January 27 (22:00) and kept open until February 2 for measurements and sampling. Camp and equipment were returned to Scott Base and the field operation completed by February 4.

Table 2 Basic data for the two ice shelf sites occupied by K-042 on the McMurdo Ross Ice Shelf
HWD-1 - 5 km from edge of shelf
Position: 77° 53.308′S 167° 05.067′E
Ice Shelf thickness 70.5+−0.1 m
Datum - Ice Shelf surface 0 m
Firn-ice transition 27.0+−0.5 m
Sea level depth 17.3+−0.2 m
Sea floor depth by wire line 938 m (920 m bsl)
HWD-2 - 12 km from edge of shelf
Position: 77° 50.111′S 167° 20.209′E
Ice Shelf thickness 143.7+−0.1 m
Datum - Ice Shelf Surface 0 m
Firn-Ice Transition 27.2 +−0.2 m
Sea level depth 27.6 m
Sea Floor Depth by wire line 950.7 m (923 m bsl)