16 November, 1998
I woke up at 7:30 this morning to another beautiful day...At 8:00 I did my 36-hour time points in my experiments...
I made blueberry muffins, changed the grey water, and continued working on the data spreadsheet from my first 2 experiments. This took all morning.
I made lunch--grilled cheese/meat sandwiches and soup. John said that he would help me set up the burner to melt my sediment trap out. We worked most of the afternoon moving the burner and generator over to where my sediment trap was in the ice. Both the burner and generator are kept on large drip pans at all times, in case they leak fuel or glycol (the burner works by boiling glycol through its tubes...this melts the ice...and burns a hole as far down and wide as you want it). We used the ATV (all-terrain vehicle) to help slide the whole system over to the sediment trap hole. The machines are quite heavy and I guess, in years previous, have been quite dangerous (because my team had to learn what fittings to put on the hoses, etc....some of them "blew" quite frequently). I wouldn't have wanted to be around when that happened!
Ed had a frustrating day. Setting up the Water Content Reflectometer sensors (these measure liquid water in the ice) was not working as planned. There was something wrong in the equipment sent out from McMurdo, so he attempted to decipher what the problem was. Research experiments can take a tremendous amount of time when things aren't working correctly. Nina worked on experiments in the lab.
While waiting for the ice to melt (it ended up taking about 5 hours), I made dinner (burritos and taquitos), finished the spreadsheet, and started my 48-hour time point at about 9:00 pm (John was using the lab at 8:00, so I had to wait until he was done). I returned to the melting process out on the lake, pulled my sediment trap, siphoned the water off of the top (collected it as grey water), unscrewed the collecting bottle at the bottom, and screwed on a clean bottle with my Formalin/saline solution in the bottom (remember the Formalin is to kill any algae or bacteria so we don't get any growth in the bottle and the saline is to keep the sediments at the bottom of the bottle). The whole 125-ml bottle was filled. Unfortunately, it was not the sediment that I wanted to collect. Basically, I collected all of the sediment that came from the melted ice above the trap. Now that I set the new trap, whoever melts it out a second time will have "clean" ice above the trap, so the trap will give a more accurate view of sediment in the water column. There's a problem with this, though...I wanted to collect the sediment from the ice melting above the trap, but I wanted it to be natural melting. But there was no other way to collect my trap without disturbing the ice above the trap. There has to be another way...any ideas?
It had been a long day, but I still wanted to see the ventifacts (wind-blown rocks) at the top of the mountain behind our camp, so Nina and I walked up to the foot of the glacier behind us. The rocks were incredible...weird formations that we started naming (because they looked like things). The holes in the rocks and the surfaces were obviously from wind....incredible...huge boulders had the same effects on them as the smaller rocks. We went past a small frozen pond where the sediment and dirt were a completely different color than the surrounding rocks. We reached the foot of the glacier (no, we didn't get too close...you never know when those things are going to break off!) after 45 minutes of walking. It was huge...very blue in places...not something you want to reckon with!
We returned to camp and went to bed at 12:30 pm (actually Nina still had to do some time points in her experiments, so she went to bed even later). Tomorrow we go to Lake Vida to do some ice coring.
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