9 July 2009

Ice fog all night long

Low visibility due to ground fog

During the night the visibility in camp was rather low due to the ground fog. From the main dome we could barely see the tents at the far end of camp that are about 500 m away. The Sun was however visible most of the time.

This morning we had planned a flight mission with departure from SFJ at 4 in the morning. We plan flights at night in order to have low temperatures; the high day temperatures make it difficult for the plane to take off as the snow becomes sticky.

When the skier departed from SFJ weather conditions at NEEM were marginal with ground fog and almost no wind. We were hoping that the ground fog would disappear in the morning as it is often the case, but in this case the fog just became more and more dense and when the skier arrived to NEEM at around 6.30 the pilots couldn’t see camp and it was impossible to land. The skier circulated above us for about an hour. We could hear it and once we saw it for a second just above main dome, but the visibility didn’t improve and unfortunately the skier had to return to SFJ. Tomorrow night we will give it a second try if weather allows.

What we have done today:

1. Drilling with the NEEM long drill: 20.35 m. Drillers depth: 1020.42 m.
2. Logging brittle zone ice. Final depth: 692.45 m.
3. No ice core processing. Brittle zone has been reached.
4. No CFA analysis today.
5. Attempting to receive Skier 73 in the morning
6. Packing and unpacking ice core box pallet and luggage pallet.

Ad.1: Drillers Report July 8:
‘Drilling finished a little earlier today as we recovered 24 m of core and reached 1000.07 m depth and took a little time for celebration.  New drillers will be arriving on the plane scheduled for early tomorrow and some of us will leave over the next days so drilling shifts will be reorganized during this transition period.’

Drillers Report July 9:
‘Short shifts of drill crews today produced 20.4 m of core finishing at
1020.42 m.  The plane today could not land because of ice fog so the drill crew exchange will wait another day.’

Ad 6: Because of the night flight some people didn’t go to bed whereas others were woken up at 4:30 in order to prepare retro pallets for the skier. We are sending out ice core boxes and the ice core pallet has to be prepared right before the plane arrives in order not to heat up the ice too much. The ice core boxes were taken up from the science trench by the elevator and driven out to the apron where a pallet was build. A second pallet with personal luggage was also build. As the plane was not able to land we unfortunately had to disassemble the pallets again and bring the ice cores back in the cold.

Weather: In the late morning the ground fog from last night disappeared and in the afternoon we got clear blue sky, low winds from S and temperatures up to -4 °C. At hrs 20 local we have ground fog in camp again but also wind at 9 knots from S.

FL, Anders Svensson

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