Saturday, April 19, 2014

FORCE Team explores Ford Ranges, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica

Hercules from VXE-6 unloads FORCE team, Marie Byrd Land,
Antarctica, December 1989. Photo © B. Luyendyk
Our work focused in on the Fosdick, Phillips and Chester Mountains in the northern Ford Ranges. Earlier geological parties had visited some locations we worked in before but many had not. We were the first to stand on many of the outcrops.

Our main focus of work was in the metamorphic massif of the Fosdick Mountains named after Admiral Byrd’s good friend Raymond Fosdick. Sledge parties from Byrd’s expeditions reached these mountains in 1934 and 1941. Geological parties explored the surrounding mountains in 1966 through 1969. New Zealand geologists visited various portions of western MBL in 1978-79 and 1987-88. The western regions of MBL including the Ford Ranges are vast, comparable to southern California in area but not climate! Because of the size of the region the earlier explorations were of a reconnaissance nature.

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