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27 March, 2002

When the morning starts off with a blessed sighting of caribou on the bare brown tundra, the Arctic is telling you the day will be one plucked from your dreams. We crossed through the splendid, steep Darby mountains. The brown tundra was not covered with snow for a majority of the travel. This is due to some unusual weather patterns occurring within the mountains. We bumped and jostled along on our snowmachines looking for snow. We traveled down a mountain and up to the top of another and then our eyes were taken to the herd of caribou. The caribou were grazing, ambling around, eating and moving…. this brown tundra was their safe haven from the snow. We stopped and Eric plowed ahead to find the best path to maneuver through the mountains. He returned and we traveled on up and down steep snow covered mountains. A dream of sun and snow that captivates, intrigues the mind. I cannot help but comparing our expedition to a small degree to the famous Lewis and Clark expedition.

SWE... You know me... Hey, Hey... Yes still rapping the SWE tune!!!!

SWE stands for snow water equivalence. This measurement tells us how much of the snow is actually water. The other component is air. We can get the snow water equivalence by calculating density.

Density, once again, is the mass per unit volume. Simply stated this is the amount of matter in a given amount of space. The more dense a substance is the more matter that is tightly packed into that area. The less dense a substance is the less amount of matter is packed into that given space. A good example is to think of the crowded hallway during class change. The density of students would be high. A low density of students would be if there were only three students in a classroom. Get the idea???

Now, let's look at the density of snow and water. The known density of water is 1.0 g/ml or 1.0 g/cm^3.

Anything with a density greater than 1.0 g/ml sinks in water. Anything with a density less than 1.0 g/ml floats in water. Snow has different densities depending on the air to volume ratio. So, how do we find the density of the snow out here in the remote wilderness??????

First we have to do some math, remember the sweetest tube from yesterday? It was shaped as a cylinder.

The diameter of the tube is 3.82 cm.

From this you can calculate the area of the tube. A = pie r^2.

A = 3.14 radius ^2

We also take the depth of the snow at the SWE site. So by multiplying the

depth X area = volume

So here is your homework: From these snow depths, calculate the volume of snow:


1) 44 cm

2) 28 cm

3) 51 cm

4) 40 cm

5) 44 cm

These snow depths were recorded on the tundra where there is less snow due to the wind. The forest sites have snow depth up to 70 cm!!!!!!!

Tomorrow... Calculate density!

SO WHERE IS MRS. CHEUVRONT??? LET'S PLOT!!! 65.1931 degrees north

162.27603 degrees west

Camp tonight is luxurious!! We are at Camp Haven which has an old abandoned log cabin. The walls are insulated with cardboard and the windows are uncovered. It's cozy and nice to be out of the tent for an evening. These accommodations are allowing me to email journals!!

On the snowmachine to the next sample site!

Jon scaling a mountain! Looking onward!

Traveling through the Darby mountains.

Inside the cabin at Camp Haven! Notice the cardboard insulation. We are living it up!!!

Hotel Camp Haven!!!

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