18 November, 1999
Out-standing in the Field
We drove out to Poker Flat Research Range (see photo) again today. Our mission? To collect data on a lake with an established transect (see photo), and to set up a new transect on yet a fourth lake. The air was quite calm today, and the -17C temperature didn't seem so bad as we hooked on our snowshoes! Well...not until we started standing in place to wait for the temperature probes to adjust at each meter along the 100 meter transect. We decided that if we could find probes that equilibrated faster and if we had a mechanized drill our work would be a cinch!
When we reached the end of the transect, we raced back to the 0m mark, hoping to get the blood flowing back into our hands and feet. All of us took a few minutes to run up and down along the ice so that we could warm our bodies before collecting snow samples and drilling ice holes. The trick is to stay moving.
The snow cover was quite thin on the fourth lake. That, combined with the low air temperature, would cause the heat flux to be extremely high. We laughed...if the energy is just pouring out of this lake then why aren't we warmer?
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