Another 50:50 day

It is that time that you have all been waiting for. Anyone who was reading this blog last year will recall a lot of statements along the lines of “I’m sure we will get some data tomorrow” or “I will get some data soon. Well the time has finally come where I can say that we have collected some DATA! Yay!

Placing the 100MHz receiver in a borehole after taking test shots along the ice surface. Optimism is always wearing a sun hat even if there is no sun!
Placing the 100MHz receiver in a borehole after taking test shots along the ice surface. Optimism is always wearing a sun hat even if there is no sun!

We have had on average a 50% success rate so far. The drill is working in the sense that it is heating the water – more than it did last year – however, it will not recharge the 12V battery that is powering the heater, so it only runs for a short time. It has also been leaking hot water onto the ice and has created a rather large, bath sized hole beneath the sledge, which we have since had to relocate!

The 250MHz radar managed to collect 80m worth of data in a borehole, which then had to be scrapped because the transmitter lost power before we could bring it back to the surface to quality control the data – grr. The 100MHz radar has managed to collect several bits of data including 2 zero-offset profiles, and some coarsely sampled borehole tomography – until it decided that it didn’t want to play anymore and randomly stopped working part way through a survey.

We have however also managed to collect some inclinometer data with the fancy kit we have from Icefield tools. We shall be going up to the glacier this afternoon to collect some differential GPS data to locate the top of each of the boreholes, and from all of this data, I

Typing up field notes waiting for the radar to charge. Making the most of the lack of rain.
Typing up field notes waiting for the radar to charge. Making the most of the lack of rain.

can calculate some rough velocities. Here’s hoping anyway.

The seismic kit is currently…missing. We have suffered a little mishap with our shipment being mixed up with…French soap. I am still trying to track this down, but I have every confidence we will locate it. Still, it’s lead to a lot of jokes about using the soap to speed up the glacier ice velocity, taking a bath on the glacier, and using it as a tracer in the nearby Moulin field!

The mini moulin on day 2 - on day 6 this was twice the size!
The mini moulin on day 2 – on day 6 this was twice the size and <100m from our field site!

Aside from issues with data collection, the glacier is pretty slippery at the moment because it has rained the last two days, smoothing the ice surface, so crampons have been essential. I slipped on the ice yesterday, without my crampons, and now have a nice bruise to show for my troubles! We also have a lot of surface meltwater around us, lots of deep, slushy puddles to test how waterproof our boots are, and a potential Moulin forming by borehole 2. It’s all go here!

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