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Yet another day at the office – University of Copenhagen

NEEM > Field diaries folder > UK diaries 2008 > Yet another day at the...

2 May 2008

Yet another day at the office

View over the ice margin.

After another day working with cargo, skidoo assembly, and office work, the FOMs decided to take advantage of the perfect weather and spend the evening on a visit to the ice margin.

A low sun angle, little wind, and mostly clear sky are optimal conditions for a trip to the ice margin. At 7:30pm, we packed up some food in the Ford truck and began the 40 km ride. The road is decaying fast, but it was a beautiful trip with great views the way. The melting season has just begun, and the caribous are clearly seen in the landscape with their white fur. We stopped at the view point from where there is a 250 degree view over the ice. It was clear that a large ice-dammed lake had drained since last time the FOMs visited – compare the top picture with this one from 2003:

View over the ice margin.

The lake drained in summer 2007, releasing an estimated 38 million qubic meters of water, lowering the lake level by 50 meters. The enormous amounts of water flooded large areas in the valley of Kangerlussuaq, but only caused minor damage. Drainage of ice-dammed lakes occurs once in a while and are known as Jökulhlaups, or "glacial bursts" in Icelandic.

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