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The landscapes were just amazing in the Upper Wright Valley and sometimes we had time to just take some scenic images and close-ups of the rock formation.

 

 

Wind-eroded rocks and the Asgard Range in the background

 

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Part of this year's objectives was to sample cryoconite holes on the Upper Wright Glacier. They are vertical water-filled holes in the gaciers that are up to ca. 1 m in diameter and up to ca. 60 cm deep. At the bottom of these holes there is always a layer of sediment or small rocks, and many of these cryoconite holes have an ice lid. These cryoconite holes are formed by wind-blown dust and small rocks that melt into the ice. Some of our aims are to characterise the microorganisms living in these ice-entombed habitats and evaluate the relationships to microbial communities in other aquatic ecosystems in Antarctica.

 

 

Upper Wright Glacier and the large ice fall that is coming down from the polar plateau

 

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Stunning geological strata

 

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Hunting for croconite holes on Upper Wright Glacier

 

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Ian and Hannah are drilling into a cryoconite hole

 

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