Trowels at the ready, crampons steady…

After some technical difficulties with the GPR, and the temperatures being far too cold for him to function (it is -14 degrees today!) we have spent the day doing some mapping and sedimentology of the moraines in our valley. Back on the 10 km trail up to the site, then, but the bright blue skies made it all worth it! We had a very funny run in with a dog sledge on route, where the dogs ran straight at us wagging their tails and decided to take a break, rather than carry on with their journey. Their driver had to pick them all up and put them back on the track.
Maybe we looked like we needed a lift!

Moraines!
Moraines!

After 4 hours we arrived at our site and had a spot of lunch whilst perusing the moraines. They were quite complicated here, and have been dissected by the meltwater streams, but we could see a series of nice lateral moraines – which would have been at the side of the glacier – and a nice end moraine in the main valley. Some of them were over 10 m high! With the stream being frozen, it was possible to walk up to the moraines and take some sediment samples and measurements of the clasts (rocks) within the deposits. This will allow us to distinguish the characteristic of each of the moraines, and then compare these with the sediments within the river.

Section through one of the moraines.
Section through one of the moraines.

It was great to be able to get up to the moraines and see how the landscape fitted together, as it will be
much more difficult to do this during the summer, once the river is in full flow. Agar had told us that during the summer months it is often impossible to cross the stream as the flow is far too high from the meltwater – this might cause some problems when we come back in August (but for now we won’t worry about that…!).

All in all, another successful day in the field!

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