ICECAP-EAGLE has flown 17 January 2024

Australian Antarctic Division

Few people would enjoy the experience of removing an aircraft door mid-flight.

But for Australian Antarctic Program (AAP) scientists surveying the Antarctic ice cap and its coastal fringes, removing the door of their World War II-era Basler aircraft, to deploy oceanographic instruments, is just part of the ‘fun’.

AAP glaciologists, Dr Lenneke Jong and Dr Jason Roberts, are part of the long-running ICECAP project (Investigating the Cryospheric Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate) – an international effort to study the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet and the associated consequences for global sea-level rise.

This summer the pair, together with two Danish and two American counterparts, are flying geophysical surveys between Casey and the Shackleton Ice Shelf, and at the French/Italian station, Concordia, to study the ice sheet and bedrock below.

They will also deploy up to 85 oceanographic instruments near the front of the Shackleton Ice Shelf, but with a modification to the traditional ‘door-off’ procedure.

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