JR157: Seabed biology of Marguerite Bay, Antarctica


Question time!

Have you got a question for the team on board RRS James Clark Ross?
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We will publish as many questions and answers as we can on this page. All questions are screened before transmission; junk mail will be automatically deleted. We cannot provide indivdual or private responses to questions or comments. Please note that due to transmission times to and from the ship, there may be a delay in receiving a response to your question - please be patient. Please note that this Q&A facility will only operate during the cruise itself.

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Answers to your questions...


Cadell Backman, aged 6 from Ely asks:

How fast is the ice retreating?


Hi Cadell,

Thanks for your question…

I asked Kelly Hogan about your question. Kelly is a geologist from the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. She says that it is very difficult to give a single value for the rate at which ice is retreating around the world as it does so at different speeds.

Glaciers which are high in the mountains in some parts of the world, such as the Grinnell Glacier in the USA, are retreating at a rate of 10’s of metres per year. In the Antarctic it currently seems that it is much slower. There is not much evidence that most of the Antarctic ice sheet has changed in the last 150 years but some local changes are underway. Sea ice extent appears to be decreasing, and some ice shelves are breaking up. The most spectacular of these attract considerable publicity, particularly the collapse of part of Larsen Ice Shelf in 1995.



Bethan Evans, aged 6 from Ely asks:

How many pictures has the underwater robot taken?


Hi Bethan,

Thanks also for your question. I spoke to Gwyn Griffiths about the data we have been collecting from the ROV Isis during this cruise. Gwyn is an engineer working at the Oceanography Centre in Southampton. Gwyn has been closely involved with the Isis ROV from the drawing board.

According to Gwyn’s records, which go as far as the 6th dive of this cruise (Isis is underwater on the 7th dive as I write this), Isis has spent a total of 84 hours in the water and 66 hours on the sea bed. The deepest Isis has reached is 3500m which we got to today. We have recorded approximately 800 digital still photographs over these dives and also recorded 1843 frame grabs. A frame grab is a still image which is taken from a video recording. We have been recording from 2 digital video cameras on each dive which have so far produced about 150 hours of video to analyze. We have also generated almost 58 gigabytes of navigational data.

Hopefully in the next couple of days I will be able to send out some images for you all to see.



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October 2006
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