Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nuuk Fjords, Greenland

We (David Podrasky and I) are back in Nuuk, in southwestern Greenland. This area is full of interesting and convoluted fjords with steep-walled mountains on all sides. Very spectacular.
Our goal for the trip was to retrieve data from various instruments (GPS, cameras, seismic monitors) and to install new instrumentation for the summer. The movie shows a timelapse sequence for the Kangiata Nunata Sermia (or KNS), with one image every day since last September:

video

In the same fjord system we looked at another glacier, Narssap Sermia, that just started retreating. The scars of ice are clearly visible along the valley sides, where the glacier was still attached just a few months ago:


The calving front at Narssap Sermia:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A day trip to Black Rapids

Once a year I try to get to Black Rapids Glacier to keep a 30+ year mass balance series going. During the past few years Martin Stuefer has been a tremendous help, because he gets us there with a ski-equipped airplane. And he knows how to run a steam drill (see picture)

I don't have many pictures, because I forgot my camera, and the phone doesn't do too well in bright light.
From a first quick look, it appears that last year was again a year of strong melt, even high up on the glacier. Many of the survey poles that should be buried in snow were visible.