31 July 2012

Yet another meltlayer has formed in 20 cm depth

The carpenter garage has been move to a new hill. The previous site was in the hole to the left. That hole was a 2 m hill in 2008 and illustrates the amount of snow accumulated in NEEM camp. For size comparison, note the Caterpillar tractor to the right of the garage.


As testimony to the unusual warm weather since mid-July, another layer of
refrozen water has formed in the past three days.

We are a little tired of present weather. We hardly see the Sun, and when there is no fog we have thick overcast and snow/sleet showers. Everything is wet, and all cargo we now pack on heavy sleds is lying in snow drifts encased in ice.

The snow is slippery and soft and feels like walking on soap. Nevertheless, all
hands are on deck, and we accomplished a lot.

Due to melting and high wind, we again postponed the icelympics; but tomorrow competitions will resume.

What we have done today:
1. Air sampling program
2. Moved carpenter garage to new hill and turned it 135 degrees
3. Packed and documented drill trench equipment on heavy sled. ¾ done
4. Collected summer snow isotope standard, 50 liters.

Weather: -5°C to -1°C. Wind: Calm to 16 kt from SW. Overcast and snow showers all day. A short sunny spell at Noon.

Lou is freeing the corner of the garage before it is moved up the hill to the tractor. She is working with bare arms in the warm temperatures and has hung her polar clothes on a shovel up the hill. It almost looks like a person.


A clear blue band at 20 cm depth in the snowpack can be seen. This is refrozen meltwater from the surface. When melting occurs on the surface, water seeps down into the porous snow until it reaches temperatures below freezing. Here it refreezes and forms an ice layer in the snow.


FL, J.P. Steffensen

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