Monday, May 21, 2012

White out

Some pictures from our pilot, as we were working on the ice last Friday
Bell 212 in Greenland (Photo: Arne Fleischer)

Installing GPS (Photo: Arne Fleischer)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring trip to Nuuk

We are entering our last season of field work for our project in Nuuk where we are looking at glacier changes and try to relate those to conditions in the ocean. In a very quick trip, we visited all our over-winter stations (cameras, GPS, and seismic stations) and prepared them for summer.

The fjord just outside Nuuk

The glaciers at the end of the fjord

 The picture below shows Narssap Sermia, a glacier that was relatively stable until a few years ago. But then it woke up and in the past two years it retreated more than 2 km. The gray moraine shows land that was ice covered just a few years ago.
Narssap Sermia
Drained lake by Narssap Sermia
Unfortunately it had snowed a few days before we got here. The fresh white snow and the overcast weather made it very difficult to land on the glacier, and our GPS boxes provided the only reference for the ground.
GPS installation

One of the tools we use are cameras that are set up to take several pictures a day. Here is an example from Kangiata Nunata Sermia over this past winter.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Black Rapids Glacier

The northern hemisphere glacier field season has started. We have a new project on Black Rapids Glacier in the Alaska Range. This is probably my favorite glacier. It is where I did all the work for my PhD thesis, and I've spent several months up there since 1995. It's good to be back!
We flew in with Paul Claus, glacier pilot extraordinaire, in his Single Otter.
The field team (photo: R.Homberger)
Ultima Thule's Single Otter on skis
Two flights brought in the field team of four, a snow machine, all our instruments, and a tent camp with food.
Camp. Lokket tributary in the background
The goal of this project is to look at ice flow at the confluence of two big glacier. The picture below shows the main valley of Black Rapids (which follows the Denali Fault), and on the far side the Lokket tributary. We put up instruments to monitor the flow at this junction.

Mt. Meteor

Mt. McGinnis

The Trinity Basin (upper Black Rapids)
A particularly nice set of solar halos.