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mosaic image of Antarctica

LIMA Challenge
Fall 2008 NASA Quest Challenge!

Preliminary Proposal
Submitted by:
Taylor Academy

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

photo of site proposed

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 blasts.

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.


 FirstGov  NASA
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: November 2008
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