Harnessing the power of laser beams
Our sunny streak continued today as strong winds filled the sky with flourishes of clouds. On the lava plain we quickly chilled in the wind, even though the temperature was above freezing most of the day. Crouching in the shelter of a rock outcrop at lunch, we quickly forgot the wind and took off our gloves. But the wind kept up, and tonight it’s pushing gray clouds over Mount Discovery and Erebus. The walls of the Antarctic Oven shudder and billow, sounding like rattling subway cars. The ridge that shelters our camp also blocks our view to the south, and I wonder if there is something more blustery behind it.
Getting better information was also on the minds of the science team today. WHOI volcanologist Soule set up his LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to measure, in increments narrower than my thumb, the entire lava plain spread out before us. WHOI geochemist Mark Kurz took a lower-budget approach to sampling temperature and humidity of the air and soil around yesterday’s pentagon.
Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »