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Title: Airfields on Antarctic glacier ice
Authors: National Science Foundation (U.S.). Division of Polar Programs.
Mellor, Malcolm.
Swithinbank, Charles.
Keywords: Airfields
Cold regions
Land ice
Polar cap
Blue ice
Ice runways
Polar regions
Antarctic regions
Glacier ice
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: CRREL report ; 89-21.
Description: CRREL report
Abstract: The physical characteristics of blue-ice ablation areas in Antarctica are described and some representative ablation rates are given. The possibilities for using blue-ice areas as airfields are outlined and exploratory surveys are mentioned. Site details aregiven for icefields at Mount Howe, Mill Glacier, Patriot Hills, Rosser Ridge, Mount Lechner, 51 near Casey station, and on the Ross Ice Shelf near McMurdo station. The surface roughness of blue ice is discussed, microrelief surveys are presented for Mount Howe and Patriot Hills, and spectral analyses are used to develop relations between bump height and wavelength. U.S. military specifications for the roughness limits of various types of runways are summarized and graphical comparisons are made with the roughness analyses for Mount Howe and Patriot Hills. Special machines for smoothing ice runways are discussed and design specifications are developed. Some notes on ground facilities and ground transport are included. Appendices give discussions of weather patterns in the Transantarctic Mountains and methodology for making spectral analyses of surface roughness. It is concluded that glacier-ice airfields for conventional transport aircraft can be developed at low cost in Antarctica. Recommendations for further work are offered.
Appears in Collections:CRREL Report

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