Start date:
Mid October 2009
End date:
Mid January 2010
Beacon Valley, Up Wright Valley, Wright Valley, Victoria Valley
Principle Investigator:
Michael Wyatt
Brown University
Rhode Island
This research project has three main objectives: 1) establish key thermal infrared (TIR) and visible-near infrared (VNIR) spectral indices for identification of surface compositions in the Dry Valleys; 2) map distributions of primary lithologies and secondary mineral-phases over the entire Dry Valleys region using multispectral TIR data from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and hyperspectral VNIR data from Hyperion; 3) determine if regional distributions of secondary mineral-phases are linked to current climate variables as measured by Long Term Ecological Research Automatic Weather Network (LAWN) stations, or instead provide insight to past environmental conditions and chemical alteration processes. Field team members will fly by helicopter to various field camps in the Beacon Valley, Upper Wright Valley (North and South Fork), and Lower Victoria Valley. These small camps will consist of three Scott tents with minimal equipment. At each site, rock samples will be examined in situ with a portable visible/near-infrared spectrometer that is backpack mounted and easily operated by one or two people. Each field site location will be analyzed using similar methods that include non-invasive field spectroscopy, GPS data collection, radiometric (temperature) analyses, digital photography for land cover analysis, and hand sample documentation. Samples will also be collected for further analyses at McMurdo.