Roundup: The Past, Present and Future of Ice on Earth and Mars

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016

Spread the News:

This Week’s Roundup: Glacier Archaeology, Medicine and Simulation

Researchers explore an abandoned ice-skating rink at a glacier in New Zealand

From the New Zealand Department of Conservation: “In its heyday (the 1930s), the Mt. Harper ice rink was reputed to be the largest ice rink in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting hundreds of ice skaters and hockey players to its remote location each winter. However, World War II, petrol rationing, warmer winters and new indoor rinks all contributed to its demise. Today, considerable evidence of the complex remains intact, from buildings, to the rinks themselves, and the trees that were planted to shade and protect the rink—all in a remote and spectacular location.”

Read about the site and see more photos here:

nz-plow

A plow found near the site of the rink, used–in the absence of Zambonis–to prepare the rink or ice. (source: Katharine Watson/NZ Dept of Conservation)

A specialist in sports medicine finds glaciers less risky than other sites for ice-related spots

From Extreme Sports Medicine: “Rock and ice climbing diversified from mountaineering with various forms of activities, such as sport climbing or deep water soloing. … The overall injury rate is low, with most injuries being of minor severity. Nevertheless the risk of a fatal injury is always present. Both injury rate and fatality rate vary from the different subdisciplines performed and are the lowest for indoor climbing, bouldering or sport climbing. They are naturally higher for alpine climbing or free solo climbing. External factors as objective danger through, e.g. wind chill or rockfall add to the risk. Most injuries and overstrain are on the upper extremity, mostly at the hands and fingers. …Most of the acute injuries (73.4 %) happened in a waterfall, few in glacier ice walls (11.4 %) and on artificial ice walls (2.5 %).”

Learn more about risks associated with glacier sports and other ice sports here:

Ice-climbers with safety equipment (source: Pixabay)

Ice-climbers using crampons, ice-axes, and other safety eqipment (source: Pixabay)

An Austrian glacier served as a field site to test a mission of human researchers on Mars

From Acta Astronautica: “… the AMADEE-15 mission, a 12-day Mars analog field test [was conducted] at the Kaunertal Glacier in Austria. Eleven experiments were conducted by a field crew at the test site under simulated Martian surface exploration conditions and coordinated by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. The experiments’ research fields encompassed geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for a flight control team to manage a complex system of field assets in a realistic work flow, including: two advanced space suit simulators; and four robotic and aerial vehicles. … A 10-minute satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced.”

Read more about this simulation here.

Simulating the collection of soil samples on Mars, at a field station on Kaunertal Glacier in Austria.

Simulating the collection of soil samples on Mars, at a field station on Kaunertal Glacier in Austria (source: Acta Astonautica)

Spread the News:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*