11 May 2010

Flight to NEEM cancelled today

A lonely being in blowing snow
A lonely being in blowing snow.

This morning, weather was really doubtful. A low overcast removed all contrast, and we had periods of fog. At 1100, we launched a balloon to measure the height of the cloud base, it was 1000 feet. This is too low for air operations, so we cancelled the flight. It turned out to be a very good decision, as weather turned from doubtful to really bad. All afternoon and evening camp has been pelted with snow and blowing snow.

After 1700 we have had white-out. White-out occurs when there is no contrast what so ever due to overcast, snow and blowing snow. All around it is just the same diffuse white color. Luckily we have some structures to navigate by, else you would be lost. Snowmobile driving is outright dangerous, as you could drive into a pit or hit a snowdrift without seeing it.

What we have done today:
1. The drillers made 6 filter runs today.
2. Borehole temperature measurements in firn air borehole completed.
3. Blowers installed in cooling holes in new ice cave. They are operational.
4. Work on stabilising the drill tower.
5. Excavating the drilling fluid from last year. It has been pulled to the surface
    and in place at the drill trench
6. Unmounting the old line scanner. A new will arrive soon.
7. Mounting logging device on main generator to monitor generator load and
    camp energy consumption.
8. Levelling area for new laboratory.
9. Made box for drying drillers boots.

Ad.1: The drillers continue to get chips out of the hole. Now a total of 214 kg has
been retrieved.

Ad.4: The linear motors to tilt the tower are so powerful, that they are able to lift the tower off its foundation. Drillers will install end stop switches to avoid problems.

Weather: Overcast, -12°C to - 7°C , 12 - 22 knots from SSE turning to WSW and picking up. Visibility: In the morning periods of unrestricted and dense fog, after 1300 snow, becoming snowy and windy, after 1700 white-out.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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