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2005-06 Journal

Other journals for 2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09 (Part I), 2008-09 (Part II), 2009-10 (Part I), 2009-10 (Part II), and 2010-11 are available.

12/04/05 | 12/08/05 | 12/09/05 | 12/10/05 | 12/11/05 | 12/12/05 | 12/14/05 | 12/16/05 | 12/17/05 | 12/18/05 | 12/19/05 | 12/20/05 | 12/21/05 | 12/22/05 | 12/23/05 | 12/26/05 | 12/27/05 | 12/28/05 | 12/29/05 | 12/30/05 | 12/31/05 | 01/01/06 | 01/02/06 | 01/07/06 | 01/08/06 | 01/12/06 | 01/13/06 | 01/17/06

Dec. 4

Photo of 3 scientists Ray Woodruff and Kirk Miller, accompanied by veteran Antarctica traveler Karen Cozzetto, are in Los Angeles awaiting their 12-hour flight to New Zealand.

Dec. 8

Photo of gear Photo of gear

Ray Woodruff is trying on issued extreme cold weather gear at the Clothing Distribution Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Dec. 9

Ray and Kirk await their flight to "the ice". They will fly on a New Zealand C130 aircraft from Christchurch, NZ to McMurdo, Antarctica. Christchurch, NZ is located in the southern hemisphere at the southern latitude equivalent to Jackson, WY in the northern hemisphere.

The next flights will have to use planes with skis. (

Photo of C-130 Hercules plane

Here we are loading up in Christchurch.

Dec. 10

Photo of ice breaking up

Ice breaking up near the Ross Sea and Victoria Land.

We landed yesterday afternoon. Good flight. Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130. Landed on the ice runway--one of the last flight to do--ice is breaking up. Because we could land there, the Kiwi Hercules don't have skis--so they're a little faster (less drag) which made the flight just under 7 hours.

McMurdo is......interesting. I'll see more of it today.

Today is a "dirt tour" (more like mud), followed by a safety training class, then probably over to the lab to meet some of the project people. Earliest I can get out of here (to field) is Thursday because Tue/Wed is the soonest I can get the snow school. Hurry up and wait...

Photo of Mt. Erebus

The largest active volcano in Antarctica, Mt. Erebus is seen here in the distant background from the runway on the sea ice at McMurdo Station. The fresh coat of snow was the result of the storm that kept all aircraft grounded for 2 days.

Dec. 11

The weather is not too bad here. I think it was about 40 degrees today; it has been down in the mid 20s and 30s. Sometimes the wind makes it colder and it reminds me of Wyoming.

I share a room in a dormitory with Ray, from our USGS office in Casper. We each have a small twin-size bed and a small closet to put all our stuff in. Our day usually starts early with a shower. The bathrooms are down the hall--we don't have our own in our room. Then we go to breakfast at the cafeteria. There are usually good choices, but no fresh fruits or vegetables.

During breakfast, we usually meet with other StreamTeam members and discuss the plans for the day. After that, we take off to work on the tasks we've been assigned. So far that has involved meeting with various support people that will approve our requests as well as help us get what we need. Its really important to make sure everything is thought through carefully; once we fly out to the Dry Valleys, it might be too late to get something if we forgot it. Ray and I walk everywhere, as McMurdo is not a big town. The streets are all gravel from the volcanic rock that Ross Island is made of.

Today, Ray and I tested some of our equipment yesterday not in the Crary Building...but on top of it. We needed to have a clear view of the sky so we could test the satellite phone. If it all works we will be sending streamflow information back to the USA.

A Bell Huey helicopter just landed outside the building. Probably returning scientists from the remote field camps. If all goes well, I will be flying out to the field camps this coming Friday. Until then, I have a lot more classes to go to--including the "Snow School" where I have to build a survival shelter and sleep in it.

Photo of Observation Hill

McMurdo Station as seen from Observation Hill

Photo of Terra Bus

Everything in Antarctica is bigger. USGS hydrologist Ray Woodruff takes a close look at "Ivan the Terra Bus".

Dec. 12

Busy day today. We went to a class that taught us about what to do with our trash and other waste. The U.S. Antarctic Program recycles 63 percent of all waste. One-hundred percent of the solid waste generated here is shipped off the continent in a huge ship for processing elsewhere. They are very careful about keeping the environment clean.

Not like the early explorers. In fact, there are still trash piles from the earliest explorers. They have decided not to clean them up because they are part of a historical site.

We also met some surveyors and talked to them about their work. They are going to help us with our surveying. They have really cool global positioning systems (GPS) that will give us very accurate information.

After lunch we went back to work by getting all our food for the next several weeks in the field. We had to think about all the stuff we might eat, then go through a warehouse. We then had to box them up and label and weigh the boxes. It is important to have an accurate accounting of everything including the weight for the helicopter technicians. They use the weights--not just our food, but also us--to figure out how much the helicopter will have to lift. Knowing how far they have to fly and the load, they then compute how much fuel they need to carry.

Dec. 14

Snow school was pretty good. Ray and I, and a few others in the built a quinzee. Essentially you pile all your belongings then cover with snow and pack. When its covered with about 3 ft of snow, you tunnel down and through the wall then up. You pull all the bags out through a construction hole, plug the construction hole, and voilá--instant igloo. We slept in it and it is by far the best night's sleep on the "ground" I have had in recent memory.

Today we found out we're supposed to be on the manifest for flying tomorrow afternoon. Got to get all our gear down to the helo pad first thing. If we get bumped tomorrow we'll likely be flying Friday morning.

With any luck, the next email will be from the Dry Valleys.

Photo of a Hagland vehicle

A Hagland, one of the vehicles used to transport people and gear around.

Photo of a quinzee

The quinzee entrance tunnel.

Dec. 16

When we (Karen, Ray, and I) finally made the flight schedule, everything came together in a blur. I had allowed myself plenty of time Friday a.m. (got up around 5) but then at the last minute tried to do some back-home work stuff via the internet. In the end, we were on the helo pad around 0845 and loaded on 08 Hotel, a Bell UH212. There were 3 of us; I think the total cargo weight was 1200 lbs (must have included fuel?). After the pilot and the helo tech ran through the mornings' battery of tests, we took off from Mac town. About 35 minutes later we landed at F6, the main camp for the group I am working with. F6 consists of a hut and some other structures. It is situated near Lake Fryxell (south and east shore, if my bearings were right) in the Taylor Valley. We stopped only long enough to dump gear we wouldn't need for the next few days and to load some equipment that we would need.

Photo of Commonwealth Glacier

Commonwealth Glacier (Taylor Valley) from the air

Then on to the Wright Valley...

A short 10 minute ride, we flew up the Commonwealth Glacier and east end of the Asgard Range then down the Wright Lower Glacier to the Lower Wright Hut. The Lower Wright Hut belongs to New Zealand; they gave us permission to use it. While we were there, Ray and I worked at the gaging station on the Onyx River called....Lower Wright. It is one of 2 on the Onxy that NZ crews have collected data at since the early 70's I think.

We were only supposed to stay one night. We set up a Scott polar tent (you've probably seen them in some pics; they're the yellow pyramidal ones) because the hut would have been cramped sleeping 3 of us. Good thing--we ended up staying 3 nights because they couldn't fly on Saturday because of bad weather and Sunday is a no-fly day. The end result was Ray and I got a bunch of streamflow measurements, a set of levels, pictures, a revamped set of benchmark descriptions, and a good idea of how we might work this site...should it come to that.

While we were there that first day, Shelley and Gretchen, 2 NZ glaciologists, showed up. They had heard we were in the neighborhood (kind of hard to miss a red and white Huey in the valleys) and stopped by to talk shop. Shelley needs flow data from the site for her glacier work (the gage is just downstream of Lake Brownworth, which is at the toe of Wright Lower Glacier). She is one of the parties wanting us to run the gage.

Dec. 17

The day is a foggy memory. After packing everything that morning and checking in several times with Mac Ops and Helo Ops, we got to unpack! Ceiling was all of about a 1000 ft at times, temps ranged from -3 to 0 (degrees Celcius), and it snowed most of the day (somebody jinxed us by saying "it never snows in the Dry Valleys..."). We toured the river and the outlet of Lake Brownworth, worked a little around the gage.

Photo of hut at Lower Wright Station

Lower Wright hut and Scott tent

Dec. 18

Lawrence, Shelley's assistant, showed up in camp and invited us to go ice climbing. Why not... It turned out to be a great day--they treated us so well. Even had us over for dinner--pot roast in mushroom sauce, steamed carrots and cauliflower, and fried qumira (I'm sure I spelled that wrong--a NZ sweet potato). Even had steamed chocolate bread pudding. They are masters of the pressure cooker on a camp stove.

I think I want to work for them...

After a lot of talking, swapping tales, and listening to the 9 o'clock news (the Kiwi radio operator back in Scott Base reads little news snippets to the field parties every night), we began the 1 hour hike back to our camp around 11 p.m.

Photo of NZ and US scientists

NZ and US scientists after a hearty pressure-cooked meal...

Dec. 19

In the morning we packed all over again to fly out. Ray and I figured we had time to make one more measurement--and we barely finished when the helo called and said they'd be there in 2 minutes...

We loaded up 036 Juliet (another 212) and headed up valley (downstream...really) to the end of the Onyx River and Lake Vanda. This is another NZ camp located on the east shore of Lake Vanda near the inlet. There are 3 nice huts where we set up shop. The gage nearby was our primary objective for the Wright Valley trip. We ran levels, made some discharge measurements, and Ray installed some equipment that--if all goes well--will provide the world with real-time streamflow information from Antarctica! There are just a few folks excited about it...

Later that day, Chris Jaros--another member of the same group--joined us. He flew in from McMurdo on an A-star.

We had wanted to allow plenty of time at the Vanda site. Since Monday was a short day with the camp move, we decided to stay an extra night to make sure everything was working well and we had all the data we needed. We got quite a bit done; but the site will present some challenges. I will be back several times to this site (I hope) in the coming weeks to work at different flows.

Photo of Onyx River

Onyx River (right foreground) flowing into ice-covered Lake Vanda.

Dec. 20

More work at the Vanda site. We actually had all we needed early in the day; so, Ray, Chris, and I sorted out all our thoughts and helped me to feel comfortable about what our recommendation will ultimately look like. We knocked off early, ate dinner, and Chris, Karen, and Ray went exploring. I fell asleep...

Dec. 21

I got up fairly early and made some coffee and worked on my Sodukus (I think I'm only batting 500 with those silly puzzles...). We called in for our morning check-in and Mac Ops informed us that Helo Ops wanted to talk to us. They moved our 1520 flight time to 1000. We broke camp in a hurry and made our flight time. Now we had 4 passengers and all our gear--I was sitting with my knees at my chin we had so much stuff packed in there...I have no idea what our cargo weight was for that flight.

From Vanda, we flew upstream (down valley) to the Wright Lower Glacier and back over to F6 the way we had come late last week. At F6, we dropped off Karen and a bunch of gear, then headed up the Taylor Valley to scenic....frozen.... Lake Bonney. Here we jumped out and 2 other scientists boarded along with their gear plus a sling load. Lake Bonney is a big camp--it is primarily used by teams studying lake processes. They're all gone now; so Ray, Chris, and I have the run of the place. There are labs and even a real outhouse--what a treat! We met Ray (a different Ray) who is the camp manager at Lake Hoare (haven't been there yet) as well as all the camps in the Taylor Valley.

From there, we hopped another helo (an A-star this time) up to Taylor Glacier and Santa Fe Creek. Here we helped Chris install 2 radar gages--it is a very messy site right at the base of the glacier...creates all kinds of streamgaging problems. We worked for quite a while. We moved a gage and constructed platforms for the radar units. I made a measurement. Then we hiked back to camp--across Lake Bonney. I think we got back here around 7 or a later. Chris cooked up a nice meal--he and Ray have gone to bed...which is where I think I need to go as well.

Photo of hut at Lake Bonney

Hut at Lake Bonney

Helo supposed to extract us first thing tomorrow, although there is some question about the schedule guessed it...the weather! Just have to keep reminding myself all of this is WAY out of my control.

Dec. 22

Plans changed (surprise surprise). Helo ops called and asked if Chris could be ready in 10 (as in minutes). Last nights helo schedule (for today) had Ray going to F6 on a A-star to arrive here at Bonney at 1025. This a.m. we called Mac Ops to check in. Helo Ops wanted to talk to us--they moved Ray back to 1520 to leave on a UH212 for F6 with me and Chris to be pulled sometime after that straight to Mac Town. While we were eating breakfast, Helo Ops called and gave Chris the 10 minute warning--that was about 30 minutes ago or so. The weather is changing in Mac Town so they came out to the west lobe of Lake Bonney where some carps were taking apart a hut on the lake to get them out of here and figured they'd get Chris while they were at it.

So, Ray and I are still on the schedule for this afternoon to go to F6...assuming they're still flying. If not, we sit tight here for the night and see if they can get us out tomorrow. If they don't extract us tomorrow, we'll hike to Lake Hoare camp--only 6 hours.

We're making ourselves busy cleaning and packing...and re-packing. We'll stick close to the radio given the way the schedule seems to be changing by the hour. There is plenty to do. We can work on the meters, check measurements, fill the pre-way with fuel, empty the poo bucket, etc.

Dec 22--addendum. Ray and I never got out of Bonney on the 22nd. So we went for a hike to see some ventifacts. That night the helo schedule came out for the 23rd and we were scheduled for a noon flight.

Dec. 23

Back on the helo schedule; but.........few delays and a lot of jockying around. Looks like afternoon? We called the camp manager at Lake Hoare, Rae Spain. We had met her and her assistant Heidi Hausman when we first arrived at Bonney a few days earlier. They have the responsibilities of logistical support in the Dry Valleys. Which is huge--from coordinating helo schedules to orchestrating re-supplies to providing in-valley comms to just making you feel at home. Their jobs must be overwhelming at times considering they have to deal with "beakers" who might be very good in their science field; but--lets face it-- some of us can barely tie our own shoes, let alone take care of all that needs attending to in a remote camp...

Anyway, back to the 23rd. Rae had a few other tasks for us while we were at Bonney, which Ray and I were happy to do. The helo showed up early afternoon and ferried us down to F6. Here we met up with Joshua Koch--another Stream Team member--and Karen.

Ray was actually dumped at F6 and the helo went back to work moving people and cargo around the valley. I set up a tent for myself and unpacked since I will be here several nights over the next few weeks. The helo came back for Ray as the weather was closing in. We all said our goodbyes and Ray headed off for McMurdo and eventually home before New Year's (weather permitting, of course).

Then, I repacked and we started out on foot for Lake Hoare camp to the west and on the other side of Canada Glacier. On our way, we bumped into Catherine and Lare, 2 scientists from Antarctica New Zealand who were mapping lichen and mosses. They had reference photographs from the 80's that they were returning to. Using a computer program much like GIS software, they're able to "georeference" the original photos and new ones that they take and then "map" the growth of the lichen. They can measure sub-millimeter growth this way. I think I heard them say the "fast" lichen grow about 3 mm in 40 years.....

Crossing Canada Glacier was painless. There is a "flagged" route which is essentially a series of ablation stakes. This section of the glacier is at the bottom of the ice falls and appears to be an area where the surface is probably in compression--i.e. no crevasses.

We didn't get in to Lake Hoare camp until around midnight, where Shannon Horn--another Stream Team member--had stayed up maintaining radio contact with us until we arrived. We finished eating dinner around 1 a.m. and found some unoccupied tents to crawl into for the night.

 Photo of F6 camp

F6 Camp

Photo of a 3-1 Lima

3-1-Lima preparing for departure. Ray is in the back seat behind the pilot Paul.

Photo of Josh and Karen at ice falls, Canada Clacier

Joshua and Karen below the ice falls, Canada Glacier.

Dec. 26

Josh and Shannon left for McMurdo. I stayed at Hoare with Karen, working on various ideas for installing thermocouples and mini-piezometers. For the thermocouples, the trick will be placing them at depth with minimal disturbance of the soil/bed material using materials that are not thermally conductive. I experimented with bamboo, something we have a lot of here with all the flagging of glaciers.

Dec. 27

More work around Hoare preparing for Karen's tracer experiment. Karen's experiment will be looking at how thermal inputs change hyporheic zone processes and transport. In addition to the thermocouples, she will need to sample the stream and the waters in the hyorheic zone for the conservative tracers she will inject.

Dec. 28

Josh and Shannon are due back from McMurdo in to F6. I decided to hike over to meet them to work that afternoon. To get to F6 from Lake Hoare camp, you have to cross Lake Hoare and hike around the toe of Canada Glacier (you cannot cross the glacier without at least 2 people). Including a detour across Lake Fryxell to talk to Catherine and Lars in the Kiwi camp, it took me 4 hours to make the trip. Rae called on the radio to tell me the helos were on weather hold; if they eventually cancelled, I would have to hike back to Hoare because there was nobody else in F6 and you cannot spend the night at a remote camp without 2 or more people. Lucky for me, Josh and Shannon were able to fly. Once they arrived in F6, we headed out to measure and service gages on Aiken Creek, Lost Seal Creek, as well as collect a sample on McKnight Creek all near the east end for Fryxell Lake.

Dec. 29

Meet Joshua Koch and Shannon Horn, two of the Stream Team members that I will be working closely with for the next several weeks. Josh, Shannon, and I are based out of F6 camp, the headquarters for all the streamflow-gaging in the Dry Valleys. Josh is a graduate student at CU and will be conducting a tracer test looking at nutrient cycling; Shannon recently graduated from CU and is currently looking at graduate school options. When not streamgaging, planning, and keeping up with the chores, Josh and I talk rocks while Shannon helps me with my remedial microbiology.

Josh is shown reading the staff gage on an 8-inch cutthroate flume. Behind Josh you can see Canada Glacier, Rae Mountain, and Peak 1882. Shannon is shown in a typical Dry Valleys gage house. The houses were designed large enough to serve as emergency shelter for 2 people.

Thursday December 29th included servicing and measuring streamflow at Canada Stream, Green Creek, Delta Stream, Crescent Stream, and Harnish Creek. Shannon and Josh also collected water-quality samples at those sites and a few others. The sites are visited from F6 camp on foot. All told, we hiked about 7 miles total yesterday.

Streamflows at some sites are low enough to use a portable flume. The flume--if properly installed--allows us to measure discharge more accurately than we could with a current meter. Here is a picture of a cutthroat flume with a 1-inch throat measuring discharge on Harnish Creek.

Photo of Josh Koch

Josh Koch

Photo of Shannon Horn

Shannon Horn

Dec. 30

Its 0630 Friday Dec 30th here. Yesterday we hiked to and measured and serviced several streamgages on the south and west sides of Lake Fryxell. Streamflows are up (relatively speaking); one particular stream has finally started to flow (used the 1-inch throat for the Baski flume--> thank you, Jon). Currently on deck for flight to Lake Bonney where I will be measuring and servicing a stream gage on Priscu Stream and helping construct a met station with a team member. From there it will be a flight back to Lake Hoare camp where I will be spending the weekend with the rest of the team as well as a couple of other groups. On Monday, we will be flying to Blood Falls at the terminus of Taylor Glacier for more streamgaging (including a gage with 2 radars that Ray helped to set up) then over the Asgard Range for streamgaging on the Onyx River at two sites (including the site where Ray set up the telemetry). I should be back here (F6) by Monday night. From Tuesday on there will be more streamgaging as well as preparations for 2 different tracer tests.

Photo of Baski Flume

Baski flume

Here is a photograph of my tent taken taken this past midnight with Lake Fryxell and the Commonwealth Glacier behind it. The novelty of the 24 hour day has not worn off.

Addendum: Karen and I flew up to Lake Bonney to work on configuring part of her met station instrumentation. In addition to all the environmental and logistical challenges, there was the additional task of figuring out the wiring.

Photo of tent


Dec. 31

Josh and I hiked over Canada Glacier from Hoare Camp to Fryxell Camp. The Huey Creek gage needed servicing and a measurement. It has been--and will continue to be--a challenge to get to all the gages with the other projects that require team participation as well as the always fickle weather and its ability to completely change the best laid plans. So, even though it was perhaps not the easiest way to service the gage, it was Saturday and we had nothing else going on. Josh also is looking at Huey Creek for his nutrient tracer experiment. The long hike gave us a chance to talk about different aspects of his experiment. I am looking forward to helping out.

Jan. 1

Not sure what today will bring. Probably will involve helping Karen and Josh prepare for their upcoming experiments and servicing and measuring at the Anderson Creek gage next to camp. Last few day's sun and higher temperatures seemed to have increased streamflows in the basin.

We measured discharge and serviced the gage on Anderson Creek near Lake Hoare camp. Anderson Creek originates from meltwater from the Canada Glacier, flowing along its west side and into Lake Hoare. I measured 3.0 ft3/sec, a decent flow for this creek.

Photo of CR10 wiring

CR10 wiring

Jan. 2

The helo arrived at Lake Hoare camp about 0920 to take Shannon, Josh, and me to Lake Bonney. Once there, we split up to service gages and measure discharge on streams flowing into Lake Bonney. Here are some we visited.

Lassen Creek is a high-gradient stream flowing along the east side of Rhone Glacier. It flows into the west lobe of Lake Bonney.


Photo of Lassen Creek

Lassen Creek

Photo of Taylor Glacier

Taylor Glacier

In the first picture you can see the gage box and Josh taping down from a RP in the gage pool. In the second picture you can see the mouth of Lassen Creek and the delta built out into Lake Bonney. In the center background is Blood Falls. Apparently reduced iron discharges from beneath the surface of the Taylor Glacier, staining the face red (there is more to it than that...but I already forgot it).

Santa Fe Stream is meltwater from the northeast end of Taylor Glacier. The glacier sometimes calves into the stream up from the gage. The resulting ice dams blow out, resulting in moderate flood events which tend to either rip out instrumentation or bury it. Chris Jaros, a long time Stream Team member, is experimenting with 2 radar stage sensors at this site. Two because at lower flows after an event, you never know where the channel will be.

Photo of Santa Fe LB

On the LB you can see the aluminum tripod configured to cantilever the radar out over one channel (which this time happened not to have much flow in it). You can also see Taylor Glacier (along with some instrumentation) and Josh downloading information from the data logger in the gage box.

Photo of Santa Fe RB

On the RB you can see the aluminum angle anchored to a large boulder at the base of the terminal moraine, behind which is Taylor Glacier. In the foreground is the sediment that gets transported by larger events, building a delta out into the west lobe of Lake Bonney and creating the braided system through the gage reach.

On our way back to Lake Bonney camp, we climbed up and over Bonney Riegel, a ridge jutting out into Taylor Valley, effectively splitting Bonney Lake. Lake levels in Bonney--like many other lakes in the Dry Valleys, were at one time much higher. In the following picture looking back to the east, you can see relic shore lines in the loose rock (like rings in a bathtub) high above the current frozen lake surface. For scale, Lake Bonney camp is near the center of the photograph, on the far shore, far away its invisible in this photograph (OK, so its not such a good item for scale).

Tonight we'll stay in Bonney camp. There are no other teams here. Tomorrow we're scheduled to fly over to the Wright Valley and work on the Onyx River before heading back to F6.

Photo of Bonney Riegel

Bonney Riegel

Jan. 7

We're at Lake Hoare camp again. This morning I helped Rae transfer fuel for the generators and other equipment. It is a little more involved than one might think. For transferring fuel from a 55-gallon barrel, you have to set up spill containment which consists of a collapsible berm then get the barrel in it. Pumping is done with a Hurdy Gurdy (sp?) hand pump...takes a while and a little elbow grease. Extreme care not to spill a drop is necessary--the smallest spill requires cleaning up all materials (rocks, sand, rags, etc.), bagging and (or) boxing and tagging, then reporting it.

Shannon and I struck out from Hoare for the west end of Lake Chad. Lake Chad is interesting in that it has larger concentrations of some salts when compared to the other lakes in the Valley. There are extensive algal mats visible on the bottom near shore. At the west end of Lake Chad we visited the gage on House Stream as well as two other water-quality sampling sites. The streams are meltwater from the Suess Glacier which starts high in the Asgard Range and falls some 3,000 ft in about 3/4 mile into Taylor Valley. Shown here is Shannon sampling one of the meltwater streams at the base of the Suess and its terminal moraine.

After that we hiked back to Lake Hoare camp, completing the 5+ mile round trip, where Shannon filtered samples in the lab. After dinner, we'll service the Andersen Creek gage and then prepare for tomorrow's (Sunday's) hike across Canada Glacier and next week's work around Fryxell Camp.

Photo of Suess Glacier

Suess Glacier

Jan. 8

Photo of visitors Visitors to camp (including Senator McCain, Senator Collins, Senator Sununu, and Representative Boehlert) and LTER scientists.

Jan. 12

A little past midnight and we're in the final hours of the tracer experiment on Huey Creek. At 3 a.m., we'll take the last of the samples to complete the 56-hour test. Two tracers were injected at one upstream site. Samples have been collected at precisely timed intervals from the stream and shallow wells at 5 sites downstream. Once the samples are analyzed, Joshua and Jenny will be able to better understand various hydraulic and ecological processes in the very limited hyporheic zone that are typical of the streams in the Dry Valleys. The sampling intervals--now on the receeding limb of the tracer--has spread out to 4 hours. The lack of sleep--if nothing else--has everybody looking forward to that last sample. Here are some photographs from the tracer experiment.

Photo of a kiva

Here Joshua is filtering samples in a kiva.

Photo of injection site Here is a photograph looking down at the injection site and the creek as it makes it way out to Lake Fryxell.

Jan. 13

We slept in after the late finish of the tracer test. We helped load up a couple of members of the Stream Team onto a helo bound for McMurdo. Then Shannon and I left for Canada Stream while Josh started packing up all the equipment from the experiment. Canada Stream, which drains the east flank of Canada Glacier, is a short hike from Fryxell Camp. The area is one of a few areas in the Dry Valleys with special protection in order to preserve its abundant algal mats. There isn't a lot of obvious life in the Valleys; algae, however, is present in varying abundance in many of the streams. The area is a stop for tours of the valleys, were visitors are constrained to a limited area. We are allowed to work in the area only with a special permit. We take extra precautions to minimize our disturbance. Our visit today included Shannon servicing the streamgage and collecting algae samples while I made a streamflow measurement.

Photo of algae

Here is a photograph showing some of the orange algal mats in the stream.

Photo of moss

There also are mosses in the area. This bed is one of the few that was this green.

Photo of streamgage

Here is the streamgage with Canada Glacier and Rae Mountain (left) in the background.

Jan. 17

Left the Dry Valleys for McMurdo on Saturday. Left the ice and made it back to New Zealand today on a C-17 in only 5 hours. We landed in the wee hours of the morning, and it seems strange for it to be dark outside after all those days of 24 hrs of sunlight.

Photo of aircraft

My ride off the ice.

Photo of airport

Airport, Antarctica style

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