Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pressure Ridges

Pressure ridges occur at the edge of the ice shelf near McMurdo. They are formed by the collision of sea ice against the permanent ice shelf. The ridges display a myriad of forms which are stunningly beautiful. Cracks which form within the ridges provide conduits for Weddell seals to haul out onto the ice shelf to rest and sun themselves. An area of incredible beauty that I got to see (instead of sleep) on a Recreation boondoggle.  A Rec boondoggle is an activity set up by the awesome folks in the Rec Dept to let those who sign up in time get out of McMurdo for a trip or activity.  It's been tough being on the night shift, but fortunately there was a 7am trip for midrats.  Midrats is short for "midnight rations" the midnight meal, and has become by default, the term used for night shift workers as well.

Pressure ridges
Ice pressure ridges with Castle Rock & Mt Erebus in the background.

Pressure ridges

A melt pool among the pressure ridges.
The group following the flagged route thru the pressure ridges.

Early explorers discovering the pressure ridges! It was 7 am, after all...

I love Mt Erebus, the clouds and steam are constantly changing.

Castle Rock and Mt Erebus, an active volcano steaming in the background.
Weddell Seal.

Nap time...bye!

1 comment:

  1. Randy, those shots of the ridges are very cool. That looks like a walk you'll be taking often.