A rare snow dusts Upper Beacon Valley. With humidity lower than the Sahara, Antarctica is a desert, and snowfall, particularly in the Dry Valleys, quickly evaporates. The yellow Scott tents of the field camp are based on a design that has changed little since its namesake, explorer Robert F. Scott, first set foot on the continent more than a century ago.
Dramatic skies shadow an equally dramatic story in the valley below: a massive subglacial flood roughly 12 million years ago carved deep trenches in the bedrock, leaving behind a formation known as the Labyrinth.
A large sandstone boulder sits on the floor of Central Beacon Valley. Like most of the Dry Valleys, Beacon is lined by craggy layers of reddish-brown bedrock and lighter-colored sandstone. It’s a palette that might be mistaken for the balmy American Southwest, though the temperatures here…
View original post 269 more words