Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Our annual Black Rapids trip

Every year in spring we fly to Black Rapids to keep maintaining a mass balance program that goes back to 1973, but that has no longer any funding support. It comes in handy to have a plane on skis! We try to do the measurements in early April, a time when interior Alaska is often blessed with stable and nice weather. We managed to find such a day last week.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Taku Glacier seismic survey

This is the last year of our Taku Glacier study. One of the major goals was to repeat a seismic study. We drilled almost 100 holes and filled the with explosives. The resulting seismic waves were recorded on a long string of geophones and this will help us characterize the nature of the sediment underneath the glacier.

I was a bit apprehensive heading to Taku after last year's rainy field season, but it turned out fine. There was some snow on the glacier; not a lot, but enough to work with. We did have some rain, but also several sunny days and some snow. At some times rain, snow, and sunshine occurred simultaneously, in typical Southeast Alaska fashion.

On the flight out we had a nice view of the glacier, which is still advancing pretty healthily.

My colleague Andy Aschwanden took some really nice pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ak64north/albums/72157666219362885

The camp on a sunny evening

Ice advancing onto the 'Oozy Flats'

Ice overriding trees at the glacier front

This section of the Norris River was blocked by the glacier last year, but not quite this time