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Bunny Boot Free Day

4/25/2016

Probably one of the more essential inventions for doing Arctic winter research is the bunny boot. A legacy from the cold war military exercises I guess, but they keep your feet warm in most any conditions. They also feel like a nasty sloppy mess after wearing them after a 60 mile ride like yesterday. We’re all at Ben’s NARL cabin on Teshekpuk Lake now and have decided today we won’t put on our bunny boots and let them get good and dry.

 Drying bunny boots in NARL cabin

Still there are always tasks to do around camp like get sleeping and gear tents set up and coordinating with pilot in Deadhorse on weather conditions to get rest of our team and gear here.

 Arctic oven tents set up around cabin on Teshekpuk Lake

Tomorrow we’ll don bunny boots again and start work on the large and varied thermokarst lakes in this ice-rich permafrost landscape of the Outer Arctic Coastal Plain between Barrow and Deadhorse. A particular focus here will be studying winter conditions driving lake shoreline erosion like snow that might insulate permafrost and make it more susceptible to thermal erosion. Geophysical measurements will be used to image a wide range of lake impacts on permafrost from stability to deep thaw. We expect to measure unusually thick lake ice here also despite the warm winter temps.

What’s amazing is the lack of snow on the lakes and tundra around here. I’ve never seen it so bare over last 10 years working around here in the late winter. It feels like spring out and making it to Barrow might be interesting if condition warm up more and no snow falls over next week.

Riding over thin melting snow cover South of Teshekpuk Lake