20 November, 1997

Hi Everyone,

Thursday dawned with just a little wind and no snow blowing.......   I
really thought that during the night my tent would definitely fall in from
the wind and the snow.   The day actually turned out to be very  nice.
The sky is blue and the snow isnít moving but there is still some wind.   I
think that watching people move across the camp reminded me of the way
Antarctica should look.    Instead at this camp, one finds a complete
kitchen, VCR's, small libraries, showers  and neat snowmobiles.

Today, the drillers got 15 meters of core out of the ice for us to work on.
They used a core drill called a sidewinder.   I donít know where that name
came from but it was neat to watch come up with core and the go back down
for more.  We are doing permeability studies on the core.  The permeability
tells us how much air space there is between the snow firn (ice crystals)
in each piece of core.  The theory says that the deeper the core is the
less air space there should be between the firn  If there is less space,
then air or water cannot get through it easily or quickly.  When we get the
core, it is like a long round cylinder.   We cut it into little pieces and
then push air through it with a special machine called a Permeameter.
Then using a bunch of grown up math, Dr. Albert finds how well air goes
through the piece of ice. Mathematics is very important to the science
here.  They use it all the time. I'm glad that it is one of my favorite

The machine takes readings in an electrical measure that tells Dr. Albert
about the distances between the firn and maybe even the size of the firn.
The smaller the spaces, the smaller the firn, the more pressure it takes to
push air through it.

Something that you could try that would show what we are doing is get a
couple of large jars or tall glasses.   Fill one of the glasses with large
pebbles or rocks, fill a second one with sand , a third one with dirt from
a garden , and then maybe some clay.   Take a half of cup of water a pour
it through the first glass and time it to see how long it takes to reach
the bottom.  You may need a friend to help you time the water moving
through your rocks.    Do that with each of your glasses of rock.  Which
one did the water go through first?   Why?   Which one did it take the
longest?   Why?

Hope that you have fun doing the above.   It is just like what I am doing
here with Dr. Albert!!!!!!

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