Alasdair Turner, father of Cullen, Grade 2 is on a special adventure and has taken Flat Stanley along!
“Flat Stanley and I have made it to Antarctica and had our first few days of field work.
I am working with a group of volcanologists on the Mount Erebus volcano, which is the southern most active volcano on earth. The mountain is 12,500ft tall. We are collecting rock samples to be used in cosmogenic surface dating of the various lava flows on the mountain. This dating technique is relatively new and we are creating a calibration for the technique for the southern regions of the earth. Cosmogenic dating uses nuclides created in the surface rocks by high energy particles that travel through space from exploded stars and eventually hit the atoms in the rock knocking off protons which creates certain nuclides. Over time this happens at a constant rate and therefore can be used to accurately date rock.
The conditions on the mountain where we are working are fairly harsh. Yesterday’s work was at 11,000ft with temperatures around -30 and gusts to 30 knots. My job on the team is as a mountaineer. I am responsible for the overall team logistics and safety.
See you in a few weeks. Alasdair Turner + Flat Stanley”