Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Rising ice" at the South Pole

Excerpt from this article:
"We are building this one to be ready for the science of the 21st Century," said Jerry Marty, 61, the station chief who worked in both previous South Pole facilities and has overseen the construction of the new one.

The structure offers new comforts to isolated researchers, including private rooms. It is also designed to fend off, for as long as possible, the inexorable buildup of ice and snow that buried the first two stations. The front is shaped like an aircraft wing and faces into the prevailing winds, allowing the snow to blow under it and away.

But snow will, eventually, build up. And when it does reach the bottom of the station, 50-ton hydraulic jacks on each of its supporting columns can raise it up to 24 feet, extending the life expectancy of the building to 50 years.

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