SNOW COMPACTION IN ANTARCTICA-ROADS ON SNOW-COVERED SEA ICE.
NAVAL CIVIL ENGINEERING LAB PORT HUENEME CALIF
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During the austral summer of Deep Freeze 61 the Laboratory provided technical guidance to a Navy snow-compaction team testing the practicability of compacted roads on snow-covered sea ice over McMurdo Sound. An experimental 22-footwide road was constructed between McMurdo Station and Williams field in October and November 1960. This road included 3 miles of snow road, 1.4 miles of ice road, a snow-wedge transition ramp between the ice road and the snow road, and a snow, ice, and gravel transition ramp between the ice road and the shore at McMurdo Station. During construction snow road was depressed about 10 inches below the natural surface of the snow. This accelerated the accumulation of drift, which was windrowed to the edges of the road following each storm. Eventually berms 2 feet high were built up along each side of the road. As a result, in mid-December a 3-day blizzard filled the roadway with snow and it was abandoned. The road was used day and night for a 10-day period during late November and early December by all types of wheeled vehicles including 30-ton tractor-andtrailer rigs. It was concluded that a network of snow roads between McMurdo Station and its outlying facilities will improve the ground communications and transportation threefold between these points. However, continued development is required to improve the construction and maintenance techniques for such roads. Author