Dramatic changes were afoot!


Another aspect of our field research that hasn’t been discussed in the blog is the weather.

Working on an ice-covered lake, we expected cold weather, but that wasn’t exactly what we got.

When we arrived in Kilpisjärvi, the lake was completely ice-covered and we could walk on it confidently.


Ice-covered Kilpisjärvi on Day 1.


The ice-covered expanse of Kilpisjärvi.

The ice was thick and stable enough that we were able to launch UBC-Gavia.

But, as the temperatures increased (sometimes above 30 degrees Celsius) the ice started to degrade quickly. The ice detached from the shore and regions of soft ice formed.


The ice was so easy to break due to its columnar structures, that Tom Kokkonen could break it apart with a canoe paddle.

As the sun-baked the ice surface, more channels of open water formed in the ice.


One day later, many channels formed.

This opening of the ice was beneficial for the UBC-Gavia recovery mission as the team could search open water for her tether.


The view from the CONCUR house looking out on Kilpisjärvi.

Then, the weather changed again and the fog rolled in.


Fog on Kilpisjärvi.

Then the wind picked up and pushed all the left over ice to our end (North) of the lake.


Very wet CONCUR team members saving our boat.

Then, the very next day, the lake was completely open water.


Open water on Kilpisjärvi.

The day we left Kilpisjärvi, it looked completely different from the day we arrived.


Looking down on Kilpisjärvi the day we left, not an ice-cube to be seen.

So, what did we learn from this. Well, we learned to pack for every eventuality and to go with the flow, in this case the flow of ice. We couldn’t control the weather, but at least we could try to use it to our advantage.

Seuraavaan kertaan! (Until next time!)



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