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2 August, 2000

University of Washington Visit

Today I visited the Department of Geophysics at the University of Washington in Seattle. There I met Ed Waddington, a principal investigator(PI) on the project, and Bob Hawley, a grad student who is the other member of the team travelling to Siple Dome.

Ed and Bob are interested in the ice dynamics of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at Siple Dome. Bob will be measuring the vertical movement of the firn within the top 80 meters of the ice sheet. Firn is the transition stage between snow and glacial ice. Last year he placed metal bands at regular intervals in a borehole. This season and again next year he will be measuring any changes in the position of these bands.

Bob demonstrated two methods he will use to determine the exact position of each band. One employs an instrument called a tuned coil and the other uses a video camera to pinpoint the location. An understanding of how the snow moves down as it makes the transition into ice is a necessary component of Gary Clow's climate model.

I tried on some snow boots and down pants while Bob answered my questions about what personal gear will be needed. The shipment of equipment for Antarctica must be sent out later this month.

Bob Hawley is holding the video camera that will be used in the borehole at Siple Dome..

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