Fall 2008 NASA Quest Challenge!
Name or describe your chosen ice feature.
My ice feature is fairly strange. From up close it looks like a cave, with long,
oval shaped “fingers” jutting out. From farther away, it looks like
the mouth of a volcano, except that only one side looks like it could be part of
a volcano. It might be a cliff, too, since it’s on the edge of Ross Island.
There are quite a few of my features around, but this one is exceptional. Very
large, it’s roughly 1,000 meters lengthwise, and 660 meters across.
Latitude 168 Longitude -77
What geological processes are do you think are taking place to create
this ice feature?
You see, this is a hard question. Since I’m not exactly sure
what my feature is, it’s pretty hard to decide what made it.
But I do have a few theories. If it’s a cave, then maybe some melting
ice mixed with carbon dioxide, (making a slightly acid mixture) ate away
at the rock, forming this cave. Then, possibly, ice (formed outside the
cave) melted into its mouth, creating the long, oval shaped “fingers” that are
visible in our group’s pictures. Or, it could just be a
piece of rock that was blown away from one of Mt. Erebus’s previous
What are some of the benefits of exploring this feature?
If it is a cave, we would be able to explore it, learn about living conditions
within the cave (if there are life forms in the cave & how they survive under
extreme surroundings) If it’s not a cave, since there is a glacier near
my feature I would explore what effect the glacier has on the environment surrounding
it & how that relates to my feature.