11 August, 2000
Today our TEA group was given a tour of CRREL. There are 290 employees here, including 160 scientists. I really enjoyed the cold room complex and my very cold visit to the "Ice Archival Room" which housed ice cores. When we stepped into the –24 degrees Fahrenheit room, I could see snow falling from the vent above the door. It was cold, but not unbearable. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, which was not suitable for that temperature, so I was cold! I was still shivering when I came out. What surprised me the most was that even the inside of my nose felt cold. I loved seeing the sliced ice core samples. I could see the crystals and the beautiful colors of the ice under the lights. We were fortunate to see an experiment take place in a large pool. The displaced rocks would help determine the best riprap to use on certain grades of a bank. We watched a carrier loaded with rocks pushing its way through ice to see which rocks were displaced. It is more cost efficient to know ahead of time what type of rip-rap is needed along the banks. Knowing the size or angle would make a difference in the saving of time, money, and effort.
I also enjoyed seeing the Ice Hydraulic room which held a model of a series of locks to see how ice flows through them. The people at CRREL were all so nice and friendly. I'm so glad that we had this opportunity to get a tour while we were here at the Cold Region Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL).
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