For the 2013-2014 field season, ANSMET is planning a return to the Miller Range icefields. Last visited in 2011-2012, these icefields have been visited six times previously, yielding over 2300 specimens and including many rare types such as martian and lunar meteorites. There are three large blue ice areas informally called the Miller Range “North”, “Middle” and “South” icefields, as well as many smaller peripheral icefields where meteorites have been found.
The main focus for the 2013-2014 field season will be the South icefield, large areas of which remain to be searched. However, as in the 2011 field season, we plan to start at the north end of the Miller Range. Our efforts to search several of the blue ice areas in the north end were hampered by snow cover in 2011, so we’ll try again by landing there first. After about a week we’ll then traverse uphill and southward to the South icefield, and set up camp to spend the remainder of the season systematically searching.
ANSMET is fielding only a single team this year; some modest reconnaissance flights may also take place both before and after the field season. Currently most ANSMET field party members are departing from the US in late November. They should get to McMurdo in the first few days of December and Deployment into the field is planned about a week after that, with most of the crew returning to the “civilized world” in the third week of January.