University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 13 at the Pole

NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser

Very little snow actually falls at the South Pole. Antarctica as a whole is the driest continent on Earth, and the South Pole, with its high altitude and distance from the coasts, receives the least precipitation. Yet, there is snow everywhere. High winds are to blame—blowing snow that falls elsewhere can accumulate at the Pole at roughly 20 centimeters per year, forming drifts much higher than that. And snow drifts can quickly become unwieldy if not dealt with. Last week, a large snow drift was cleared behind the ICL, leaving a clear sight path underneath the building, which was built as a raised structure, like most South Pole facilities, specifically because of snow drift concerns. Snow or no snow, the Easter bunny was able to visit the station and leave treats for all the winterovers.

NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser
NSF/E. Beiser