AU researcher set to be part of Antartica mission

Devsamridhi Arora, an assistant professor of Allahabad University (AU), has been selected to be a part of an Antarctica expedition.

She will be staying in Antarctica from December 2022 to April 2023 and study the rocks found on the continent.

Devsamridhi, in her thirties, is a member of the ongoing 42nd Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA). She joined AU’s National Centre of Experimental Mineralogy and Petrology (NCEMP), in April this year.

This is a part of the first major India-led multinational geoscientific programme named ‘Geological Exploration in and around Amery Ice-Shelf (GeoEAIS)’ which is executed under the umbrella of the Indian Antarctic Programme, she added.

During her stay, she would undertake study of the mountain rocks of the area as part of her research ‘Insights into the geological framework and tectono-thermal evolution of the Princess Elizabeth LandAmery Ice Shelf sector, East Antarctica’, the proposal for which she had submitted to National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

This will be Devsamridhi’s second visit to the frozen continent. Her first visit to Antarctica was during 35th ISEA in 2015-16 when she was a PhD student in the department of geology, University of Delhi. At the time, she had carried out field work in coastal regions of Princess Elizabeth Land (PEL) of East Antarctica.

“After seven years, I am planning to carry out field work in inland regions of PEL and nunataks of Amery Ice Shelf (AIS),” she said.

Devsamridhi said that her visiting this frozen continent is driven by the scientific aim of exploring the sub-ice geology of PEL-AIS sector of East Antarctica by investigating the exposed nuna taks (summit or ridge of a mountain that protrudes from an ice field or glacier that otherwise covers most of the mountain) and connecting their geology with regional aero-geophysical data.

Talking about the life of researchers in Antarctica, she says, “Field work in Antarctica is bizarre in a sense that we get to travel by helicopters, work in the super windy and extremely cold environment, and make entries in field diaries with numb hands.”

The expedition comprising 35 members was launched from Goa on October 22. The team will set off for Cape Town on December 24 and would undergo five days of quarantine at Cape Town before beginning their voyage to Antarctica.




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