Dale Andersen in water

You can help fund projects like the 2016 International Antarctic Expedition to Lake Untersee, Antarctica.

I am the senior scientist for this project and will be leading the expedition's return to Lake Untersee for another field season of research in the mountains of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. My team and I will depart in late October for Antarctica and if weather conditions permit we will arrive at Novolazarevskaya Station a day or two later.

Soon after our arrival in Antarctica we must begin assembling and organizing all of the things we will require while in the field. Once we depart Novolazareskya Station we will be on our own, without resupply or additional support for at least 6-8 weeks. We must ensure that we have all of our camping and diving gear required to support our work, and that our science equipment is in good working order. A large tracked vehicle and sled will be used to transport three team members and the bulk of our camp across the ice to Lake Untersee while three of us will use snowmobiles and sleds for the inland traverse across the blue-ice. Once we are onsite at Lake Untersee it's imperative to get the camp setup quickly - because of the harsh and unforgiving climate our first job is to make sure we have a warm, safe place to live, with multiple options in the event that we lose tents due to strong winds, which can (and have) reached 110 mph at times. Once our camp is established we begin making holes through the 3.5 meter thick ice - small ones for lowering instruments and sampling water, and larger ones for diving that we will use to investigate the lake, making observations, capturing images, setting out instrumentation and taking sediment samples. At this point we will begin six to eight weeks of intensive studies focussed on the physics, chemistry and biology of the lake, in a very, very harsh and demanding environment.

Once our work at Lake Untersee is completed for the year our team returns to Cape Town, South Africa and we return home with the data and samples we collected and begin the process of analyzing these samples and reducing the data for publication in the scientific literature, and sharing the results with the public.

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