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OPP 07-001 December 2006


Personnel, Stations, and Camps

  1. Personnel
    1. The total number of people entering and leaving Antarctica and the ships over the course of the summer will be about 3,000.  The U.S. Antarctic Program peak population at any given moment will be about 1,600 on land and 300 on the ships.
    2. Approximately 70 percent of U.S. Antarctic Program science personnel and greater than 90 percent of operations personnel transit New Zealand and McMurdo
    3. About one-fourth of science personnel and less than 10 percent of operations personnel transit South America to Antarctic Peninsula locations


  2. Year-round research stations
    1. Palmer (65°S 64°W), Anvers Island, west coast of Antarctic Peninsula—marine biology and other disciplines, population 10 to 44
    2. McMurdo (78°S 168°E), Ross Island, southwest corner of Ross Sea—all research disciplines, operational hub, logistics center, population 235 to about 1,200
    3. Amundsen-Scott South Pole (90° S), continental interior at geographic South Pole—astronomy and astrophysics, meteorology and climate studies, population 60 to 240


  3. Summer research camps
    1. Siple Dome (Siple Coast, West Antarctica).  Geophysics1 including a GPS array; automatic weather stationss2 .
    2. Western Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Camp (West Antarctica).  Glaciology, including ice-core sampling, radar surveys, and installation of a magnetometer; automatic weather stations; GPS monitoring of bedrock motion.3
    3. Taylor Dome (Eest Antarctica). Initial base camp for the ITASE Traverse. During the traverse to the Beardmore Glacier Basin, they will collect ice cores and perform radar and GPS surveys every 100 kilometers.
    4. Small field camps at Beardmore Glacier (Transantarctic Mountains), Fosdick Mountains, Patriot Hills, Shackleton Glacier, and the Gamburtxev Mountains (East Antarctica)
    5. Numerous camps in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, on sea ice, and on Ross Island.

  4. Traverse. Extending prior work, a South Pole Proof of Concept Heavy Travers is planned from McMurdo to South Pole and back. This will extend previous effforts from as far as the head of the Leverett Glacier, about 262 nautical miles. If this experiment is successful, traverses will move cargo between the two stations, reducing the demand on LC-130 airplanes.


End notes
[1]http://www.geosc.psu.edu/~sak/Tides
[2] The automatic weather station project, University of Wisconsin, is described at http://amrc.ssec.wisc.edu/aws.html
[3]http://www.waisdivide.unh.edu/ (WAIS Divide Ice Core Project, University of New Hampshire)
 
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