McMurdo Station is located on Ross Island in the Ross Sea of Antarctica. We are totally surrounded by water except for the winter months when the ocean freezes to form an ice sheet. During the winter the area around Antarctica grows by 75-100 percent with the addition of this ice sheet. Being here during this time gives me access to areas that I would not be able to go to during the summer when the ice sheet thaws. There are no boats in the summer and the only way to access the land is by helicopter or plane. The ice sheet allows for us to travel by snow vehicles and visit the glaciers, icebergs, and to view the seals and penguins.
The Frozen Ocean has cracks and pressure ridges caused by the movement of the ocean. Today we went to visit an area of pressure ridges close to Scott Base (which is the New Zealand Base near McMurdo).
The snow that lies on top of the ice contains bromine. The scientists that I am associated with are tracking bromides that accumulate in the snowflakes on the Sea Ice. The bromides then go into our atmosphere (troposphere) and cause some ozone depletion. Since ozone depletion allows for more ultraviolet light to be released, I thought it would be interesting to photograph these Pressure Ridges.
Pretty Great Day!!!