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Phantom Snow Fields

4/3/2017

We awoke to an obscure cold wind and took our sweet time in the warm cabin prepping for a day of science. Andy’s struck out earlier to Peatball Lake for a N-S TEM supertransect. Ben, Allen, Melanie, and I headed North to core some bedfast ice lakes along with some good old fashion scope creep. Coring Tes-3 was interesting and fruitfull in the end.

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Core barrel separated from the extension rod and Allen and Ben had to get creative in retrieving it. But in the end they were able to sample a 130 cm section of lake bed, part permafrost below an active layer.

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The snow was strange today. There were these weird patches of dark shinny snow with sharp breaks stretching E-W with the wind. The dominant patch was much whiter. Most of it had a moderate surface hoar of frost that made it look really white and fuzzy in the increasing sun. We decided it must be slight differences in wind shear, but only the ghosts of the winter tundra know.

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Coming out to Drew Point blocks of tundra hung in stasis waiting to be returned to the sea once it comes back alive this summer. It seemingly keeps coming alive earlier and earlier and soon may consume its land ghosts entirely. Riding out there and back should seemingly take less time year after year, but not today. The snow resisted our return with full force.

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