1. Drilling and radar measurements at the coast


    from International Polar Foundation Added 924 0 0

    We followed the IceCon crew during their expedition in November and December. ULB glaciologists Jean Louis Tison and Frank Pattyn took the time to explain their research, what glaciology can teach us, and the difficulties and successes they had while in the field this season.

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    • A successful season for Jan Lenaerts


      from International Polar Foundation Added 567 1 0

      Jan Lenaerts, the 2014 Inbev-Baillet Latour laureate is really happy with the work he was able to accomplish during the 2014-2015 BELARE expedition and with the support he got from the team. Jan was in Antarctica do conduct research for the BENEMELT project. BENEMELT aims at investigating how much snow melts on the ice shelves in East Antarctica, to what extent melt may increase in the future, and how this melt would impact ice shelf stability and ultimately global sea levels. His main duties this season were to: - Install an automatic weather station on the King Baudouin Ice Shelf to get continuous measurements during a one-year period - Drill several firn cores to investigate melt layers and determine snow density Jan Lenaerts will come back to Princess Elisabeth Station and camp on the ice shelf for several weeks to measure snow albedo, snow grain size, snow density, and melt layers. He also plans to investigate a large 2 km-wide scar on the ice shelf scientists form the Alfred Wegener Institute discovered in December 2014 while flying a geophysical survey.

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      • The Return of the JARE 51 Team at Utsteinen


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        Having returned from their field campaign in the Sør Rondanes, the team of the Japanese JARE 51 expedition, along with Steven Goderis from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, is able to reflect on a successful meteorite exploration. With the largest sample weighing over 5 kilograms, the team is delighted with the discovery of some extraordinary examples. They have been greeted at Utsteinen by Alain Hubert, who provided both warm welcome and celebratory drink to the success of the 2009-2010 campaign, during which they gratefully received the full support of the BELARE team.

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        • Iceberg Calving Explained


          from International Polar Foundation Added 2,001 1 0

          While examining satellite sea ice data, Nighat Amin of the International Polar Foundation spotted that a 70 km2 iceberg had calved off the tip of the King Baudouin Ice Shelf in late January. We interviewed glaciologists Frank Pattyn and Reinhard Drews, who have both been studying the ice shelf for some time. Ice shelves losing ice is a completely natural phenomenon, and glaciologists closely track the pace at which this happens. In the case of the King Baudouin Ice Shelf, the last major calving hasn't happened since the 1960s. What we witnessed here was a natural, albeit rare, event. Both Frank Pattyn and Reinhard Drews from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) were quite confident in saying that, according the current data they have, there is no sign of acceleration of ice discharge from this particular ice shelf, and it remains relatively stable. Whether that stability will remain true for the coming decades will largely depend on the way climate change may affect that particular part of East Antarctica.

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          • Interview: Jean-Louis Tison


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            Jean- Louis Tison is a Glaciologist, and the Co-director of the Glaciological Laboratory of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Université Libre de Bruxelles). This season will be his fifteenth time in Antarctica. Joining the BELARE 2010-2011 expedition, he will be heading the BELISSIMA (BELgian Ice Sheet-Shelf Ice Measurements in Antarctica) to study the interaction between the ocean and the ice sheet.

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            • First drone flies over Utsteinen


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              Our electrical engineer, Karel Moerman, brought a drone with him to Antarctica this year. We've taken aerial images of the station from an ultra light aircraft before, but this is the first time that an unmanned drone has flown over the station and shot footage. From take off to landing, this video will take you on an aerial tour of the Princess Elisabeth Antarctica station, Utsteinen Ridge, the runway where planes take off and land, and the general vicinity of the station. A fresh perspective Even for those of us who are accustomed to seeing the station on a daily basis, this footage allowed us to see the station from a fresh perspective. Thank you Karel! Music: "Uncertainty" by Ian Alex Mac

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              • A lot of penguins and a massive leopard seal


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                For the third year in a row, Alain Hubert visited the emperor penguin colony he confirmed the existence of two years ago. While counting the adult penguins and chicks in order to estimate the size and health of the colony, we had a startling encounter. Monitoring the penguin colony Antarctica is a protected area and wildlife should not be disturbed. Only three people approach the animals to count the chicks and adults in order to evaluate the size and health of the colony, while keeping a safe enough distance so as not to disturb the colony. Information on the estimated population of the penguins is then relayed to scientists studying emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica. Startled by a leopard seal When we moved towards the edge of the ice shelf, our cameraman Jos Van Hemelrijck spotted a leopard seal swimming nearby. As a natural predator of emperor penguins, it was likely hunting for penguins in the area. Having probably never seen any humans in its life, the seal wasn't scared. When it spotted us, it jumped up on the ice to take a closer look. Even though we were very careful to keep our distance, the speed of the animal startled us all.

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                • Belgian Scientists Back in Belgium


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                  After spending over a month in Antarctica, the first group of scientists and crew members left the Princess Elisabeth station and headed back to Belgium in time to spend Christmas with their families. We met with them in Zaventem Airport.

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                  • Base Camp during BELARE 2007-2008


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                    This short film travels back in time to the first Princess Elisabeth construction phase of 2007-2008. Find out what the conditions were like at the Utsteinen base camp and see how innovative one can get when left with the bare minimum.

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                    • Mounts Belgica


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                      Shortly after they arrived at Utsteinen, Alain Hubert and a few other members of the BELARE 2008-09 expedition left on a reconnaissance mission in the Mounts Belgica. The first objective of this mission was to evaluate the various access routes and sites of general interest. But it was also a bit in memory of their predecessors that some of the BELARE expedition team members decided to visit this mountain range.

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