Monday, November 24, 2008

The Ice Cave

The Erebus Ice Tongue is an ice flow that comes off Mt. Erebus and thrusts into McMurdo Sound. Because the ice patterns of the Sound have been abnormal in the past few years (due to the huge iceberg B15), the sea ice has not broken out around the Ice Tongue for several years. Last year was the first time since about 2002 that there was open water around this ice flow. As a consequence the Erebus Ice Tongue was able to expand and in doing so, formed small gaps in the ice flow. These gaps form ice caves.

Below is a photo of Mt. Erebus with its volcanic plume.


Some of us were able to visit one of the caves last week. The caves were so beautiful that they seemed unreal. This is the entrance to the ice cave.


Paul at the entrance


Interior shots of the cave




Brendan, Paul, and Jessica



   The only bad thing about the trip was having to travel there by snowmobile – my least favorite way to travel. Here is a photo with me in my helmet.