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I Love Doing Science!

4/14/2018

Today was quite nice for me. Not really in charge of the project here, so slept in until 9am. My colleagues were up and prepping for the day and cooking breakfast. We mutually formulated a plan that I liked. Go, Misha, and Allen would head to Pt. McCleod to continue coring and I’d hit Peatball Lake, instrument a pair of degrading ice wedge pits, and meet the guys along the coast. The second thaw pit I drilled was super cool. After drilling about 1.4 m of ice, dark coffee black water shot up through the hole and flooded the snow. Must be DOC-rich thawed pool ice water, but hard to know.

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Then I get up to the permafrost scientists (Russian, American, and Japanese) going deep with Go’s rig that he cored Mt. Fuji with. They got down 7.4 m right along rapidly eroding coast and found a unfrozen layer. Called a cryopeg (salt-rich unfrozen sediments sandwiched within permafrost), just at elevation of sea level. I didn’t even know this existed, but apparently there’s similar layer around Barrow.

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Finishing up the day with measurements of ice and snow on Teshekpuk Lake showed probably a new record low for this area, about 120 cm. This was kind of expected given how warm its been up here this winter. What’s most interesting is how smooth the snow was on this big lake normally subject to monster sastrugi drifts. Plus seemed like drifts were oriented differently than normal. That’s possibly cool too. Really love being out here and feeling like a kid, full of wonder and curiosity about what I don’t know about my surroundings. That feeling drives good science and its happening up here with our crew!