The last survey flight was completed on December 3rd. This flight concentrated on an area in the southern part of the Ross Ice Shelf. Travelling anywhere on the shelf requires some work.

Although the IcePod remains attached to the lever arm on the plane until surveying ends for the season, the gravimeters are removed from the plane after each flight and loaded back on before take-off. The gravimeters need to be properly disconnected and wrapped in blankets before a cargo takes them via tractor to the plane.


As soon as the gravimeters are on the plane, they are surveyed.

Dave surveys the gravimeters on the plane before take-off.

Once the pod is warmed up, sensors are checked, gravimeters are loaded, and a survey is completed, the team is then ready for take-off.

The ZLS, iMar, and DGS sit on the gravity rack. Dave monitors the DGS gravimeter.
Tej, pod engineer, and Grant, ZLS ‘graviteer’.

The flight included many short, critical lines that crossed the grounding line of the Ross Ice Shelf.

Each turn on the western side of the shelf provided spectacular views of the Transantarctic Mountains…tam_4 tam_10_glacier

… which divide East and West Antarctica.

The aircrew are super friendly and had no issues with me entering the cockpit several times to set up cameras, and they even let me hang out during a turn and for landing.

cockpit_tam_turn cockpit

Despite the many flight cancellations, this season’s data collection was certainly a success.


* Scott Springer of Earth and Space Research (ESR) is also blogging about his experiences with ROSETTA-Ice this season. Check it out, learn about ALAMO floats!


Published by Alec

Hi. My name is Alec Lockett, and I am senior, geology major. I grew up in Belmont, MA, and chose Colorado College primarily because of the block plan, the rad location, and the awesome vibes I got from the students; I cannot imagine such a wonderful four years at another school. For my senior thesis, I will use airborne gravity and magnetic data from the ROSETTA-Ice 2015-2016 surveys to investigate two cross-Ross Ice Shelf transects in West Antarctica for geophysical modeling. ROSETTA-Ice (A systems approach to understanding the Ross Ocean and Ice Shelf Environment, and Tectonic setting Through Aerogeophysical surveys and modelling) is a current project that is acquiring geophysical data over the Ross Ice Shelf through airborne collection. I have the extraordinary opportunity to participate in this field data collection. When I am not busy geologizing, I enjoy reading, watching films, spending time outside whether skiing or biking, and drinking coffee.