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Postcards from the Poles Antarctica

Image courtesy of Rob Robbins / National Science Foundation

Solving Polar Fossil Mysteries

The seafloor below Antarctic sea ice is covered with living things like molluscs and echinoderms. However, core samples from the layers of sediments below the surface contain very few fossils. Were there few animals living on the Antarctic sea floor in the geologic past? Or is it just difficult for fossils to form in polar environments so there isn't a record of them? From October until December 2008 a research team explored below the sea ice to get to the bottom of this mystery. Dr. Sally E. Walker sent in virtual postcards to Windows to the Universe describing her experience with this research.

Postcards

Ending the Field Season: Mapping the Distribution of Fossil Scallops from Sally Walker, December 3, 2008

Herbertson Glacier and Bay of Sails Research Sites from Sally Walker, November 10, 2008

The Research Team and Artist Gather at New Harbor and Research Begins! from Sally Walker, November 1, 2008

Creatures from Explorers Cove from Sally Walker, October 30, 2008

Meet Our Ice Divers from Sally Walker, October 25, 2008

Preparing for Research at the Field Camp from Sally Walker, October 19, 2008

McMurdo Station, Ross Island, Antarctica from Sally Walker, October 12, 2008

Arrival on Ross Island, Antarctica from Sally Walker, October 10, 2008

Flight over Southern Ocean from Sally Walker, October 10, 2008

Boarding U.S. Airforce C-17 Globemaster III from Sally Walker, October 10, 2008

Clothing Distribution Center, United States Antarctic Program from Sally Walker, October 8, 2008

Christchurch, New Zealand from Sally Walker, October 7, 2008

Last modified August 10, 2009 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF