8 August, 1997

Nevins Journal 08/08/97

This morning we set up an experiment to see if the active layer temperature is affected by the evaporation of water from the surface. The general method involves cutting a block of the material that makes up a pingo (an ice built land form that forms when peat in an area is, as a result of weather effects, frozen in a small area later than the surrounding peat.) and inserting probes from temperature loggers (thermal probe connected to a data storage device.) into the peat. After a few days, we will cover the experimental set with a plastic wrap and see if it shows a temperature change in relation to a control set of sensors near by. After we set up that experiment I went up to site 6 to help with the sample probing on the 1 km plot. Site 6 is on a ridge overlooking camp about 2 km away. The large test grid needs to be sampled at an interval of 100 m and within that grid is a small sample plot that is 100 x 100 m. The tundra was rather wet as a result of a rain storm that we thought might prevent our flight out to Flux plots 3 and 4. Fortunately, the rain ended and we were able to get out to 3 and 4. These two plots had to be sampled more often than the standard plots that we visited so we had to lay out a temporary grid at 5 m sample interval. This resulted in collecting 441 samples rather than the usual 74 samples on the small plots. To collect the samples you need to walk across the tundra and push a metal probe into the ground until it hits ice, pull it back out and record the depth it penetrates. This does not sound too tiring until you find out that you need to walk on very uneven ground composed of tussocks and wet peat bog at an interval of about a foot between changes in surface.(Much worse than walking on RR ties) There were 6 of us working between two plots so the chopper was not able to haul all of us at one time. In order to solve the problem, half of us went up in the chopper and the other half took the 1.5 hr drive in a truck to a site about 2 mi from the plots. Then the chopper ferried the rest of the group in. This arrangement allowed me to see a grizzly bear on the way back.

The bear was walking on the Haul Road near ice cut and went down onto the tundra and under the pipeline. I was able to get a few pictures that I hope will turn out. Then about 15 mi further on we had to slow down and watch a herd of caribou cross the road. There were some spectacular animals crossing, some of them went right through and around a hunting camp. I am exhausted. ThatUs all for now.

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