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Lake Joyce is in the Dry Valleys. The Dry Valleys are located in southern Victoria Land near the McMurdo Sound and are the largest ice-free region of continental Antarctica. They often also called a polar desert because the humidity is extremely low ; and in many of the areas there is no or only little snow fall. The ground is mainly barren rocks and gravel without a soil layer as known from temperate environment.

 

The environmental conditions of Dry Valley habitats are so extreme, that most of the life is microbial and even lichens and mosses can only be found in very few areas such as near glaciers, where meltwater stream form during the austral summer months.

 

 

 

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Much of the travel around Ross Island and the Dry Valleys is done by helicopter because this is often the only way to reach many of the remote research locations.  Therefore, it was also the means of transportation for me to get to my first field site Lake Joyce in Pearce Valley (Dry Valleys, Antarctica).

 

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I was scheduled to fly early in the morning and my cargo did not only contain my science equipment but also the much awaited  food resupplies for our camp including frozen eggs, olive oil, muesli and plenty of salsa sauce etc.

 

 

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The flight took me along Ross Island and many incredibly beautiful mountain ranges and glaciers. 

 

Ross Island with Mt Erebus

 

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Dry Valleys

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Arrival at Lake Joyce

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Lake Joyce

 

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