To the Bottom of the World
On Wednesday December 28, 2011, we continued on our journey to Palmer Station, Antarctica. Only 800 miles away, we needed to cross the Southern Ocean to reach our final destination. Can you find Punta Arenas and Palmer Station on the map? Which mode of transportation do you think we need (airplane, ship, car, etc?) to get there?
Map provided by www.frozenfly.edublog.org
Since there is no place to land an airplane at Palmer Station, ships play a critical role to support scientific research in and near the Antarctic peninsula. The Laurence M. Gould (LMG) is a 230 foot research vessel that is designed to transport personnel, scientists, and cargo from Punta Arenas to Palmer Station.
The LMG has been in operation since 1997, and it is named after renowned geology professor and Antarctic expedition leader Dr. Laurence Gould. The ship is constructed to withstand year-round ice conditions to support science operations on the vessel and at Palmer Station. Scientists working on the ship study the geology, geophysics, biology, and chemistry of the peninsula.