Mike Malin, MSSS President, began research in Antarctica during the 1982-1983 austral summer, while a member of the faculty in the Department of Geology at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. This page, and references within, illustrate aspects of this research effort.
Eleven sites were established ten years ago by deploying over 6000 individual samples of well characterized rock materials ranging in physical properties from soft non-welded pyroclastic tuff to extremely hard, fine-grained dolerite and coarse-grained granite. Samples were deployed on racks above the surface, on the surface, and beneath the surface, to accumulate the effects of chemical and physical processes over many years. Included are 2.5 cm diameter, 0.5 thick disks of rocks deployed at 7, 14, 21, 35, and 70 cm above the surface and facing N, E, S, and W, 8 cm cubes, and 5 cm long by 2.5 cm diameter cylinders.
Samples have been returned after one year exposure and five years exposure. The purpose of 1994's effort was to recover materials that have been exposed for ten years. Samples remain in place that can be recovered later, nominally after 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years.
This research was and is supported by the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Program.