Thursday, June 8, 2017

How deep is the Bagley Icevalley?

We have been trying to measure the depth of the Bagley Ice Valley for years, using airborne radar. But it has been an enigma; we suspected because of its depth. Temperate ice (ice at its freezing point) contains water and that makes it really difficult for radar waves to penetrate. We had a chance to do a survey on the ground with a very low frequency system and it looks like this was successful. We are still working on the data, but it looks like we've found ice that is more than 1500 m thick.

Deployment by Ultima Thule's Single Otter

The front half of the radar setup with antenna and a sled containing the receiver

How far is it to bedrock? Photo: Jack Holt

Pulling the radar across the glacier. Michael on the snowmachine and I'm being pulled on skis. Photo: J. Holt

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Black Rapids Glacier

Every year in spring we make a trip to Black Rapids to do some mass balance measurements. Once again we found a beautiful day for it, and this time my daughter Sonja got to join me as well.

Surprisingly, Black Rapids Glacier had quite a low snow year; it was one of the thinnest snow covers we've measured in several decades. It's surprising, because Fairbanks had quite a nice year. In general, Black Rapids Glacier continues to thin rapidly.