Yuanyuan Gu and Zheyi Cao, postgraduate students from College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics at Tongji University, set off to participate in the 39th Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition

On the morning of October 31th, 2022, the second batch of members of the 39th Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition aboarded China’s research icebreaker “Xuelong" and left Shanghai, to carry out the Antarctic scientific expedition mission. The first batch of members took the "Xuelong II" on October 26th, and the two ships are scheduled to return to China in early April 2023. The 39th Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition will focus on major scientific exploration such as the response and feedback from the key sea areas of the Southern Ocean to global climate change, and will carry out investigation in relevant fields such as atmospheric composition, water environment, sedimentary environment, and ecosystems.

Figure 1: "Xuelong" is preparing for uploading scientific research equipment

Yuanyuan Gu, a doctoral student, and Zheyi Cao, a master student, from College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics of Tongji University, were selected by the Ministry of Natural Resources to participate in the Antarctic Inland Scientific Expedition. They will start from Zhongshan Station, pass through Taishan Station, go deep into the Antarctic inland for more than 1200 km, and will eventually arrive at Kunlun Station. They will mainly carry out data collection on mass balance of Antarctic ice sheet and contribution of sea level rise. The tasks mainly include: multi-base station, segmented, and long-distance precision snowmobile trajectory measurement by vehicle-mounted GNSS; single-photon altimetry satellite ICESat-2 ground validation measurement, which will help to calculate the mass balance of ice sheets and glaciers along the inland traverse and around Zhongshan Station, Taishan Station and Kunlun Station; and on-site observation of key parameters to influence global sea level change (ice flow rate, ice/snow surface microtopography, ice/snow vertical temperature).

Figure 2: Departure Ceremony was held online

Before the departure of “Xuelong", considering the requirements for epidemic prevention and control, College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics of Tongji University held an online departure ceremony for Yuanyuan Gu and Zheyi Cao. Twenty four faculty and students attended the ceremony. On the morning of October 27th, Professor Tong Hao and Associate Professor Gang Qiao, who had participated in previous Antarctic Research Expeditions, went to the wharf to see off the two team members, and shared with them the key precaution points during this upcoming scientific expedition.

Figure 3: Group photo of the Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition Team members (front: Zheyi Cao(L), Yuanyuan Gu (R); back: Gang Qiao (L), Tong Hao (R))

Tongji University has long undertaken major research projects in polar scientific research in China, participated in several Antarctic research expeditions, and obtained important data to support the polar scientific research. In addition, Tongji University has long-term substantive cooperation with international polar scientific research institutions. Tongji University will continue to contribute to polar scientific research in China.