samedi 16 janvier 2010

DELAQUA in Vikinhogda

Yesterday, Steve Roberts and myself went sampling in Vikinhogda within
the framework of the DELAQUA project. We went there on a skidoo and the
trip was quite bumpy. It took us 40 minutes to get there. The weather
was nice and sunny. We successfully surveyed an ice contact lake using
the ground penetrating radar. These lakes are permanently frozen, with
the exception of a small area near the littoral zone which periodically
becomes ice-free during sunny and warm days. The water from these lakes
is derived from melting snow in the catchment area. To date, it is not
know which kind of organisms inhabit these lakes and whether they can be
used to reconstruct pas climate changes, comparable with the lakes near
the Antarctic coastline (e.g. in Schirmacher Oasis). There, each year
the organisms living in these lakes fossilize and become part of the
sediments. If the different layers in these sediments are dated and the
fossils analysed, we can reconstruct past changes in the environment or
climate. On our way back from Vikinhogda, the weather was changing.
During the evening, the mountains surrounding the Princess Elisabeth
station were covered in clouds...

During the night winds were blowing stronger and in the morning we had
our first white out here.

This means that visibility on the ice sheet is nearly 0 due to snow being blown away by the wind and additional snow falling from the sky.

We had to remove the snow from our tent in order to get out. In the picture above, you can see Sanne trying to dig out his tent.
I am very happy the people here worked so hard during the past years, so we are now able to work inside the very comfortable environment of the base. Everybody is very friendly and supportive by the way.

According to the forecast, the bad weather conditions will remain until
Tuesday. Hopefully, we can subsequently go out for our next sampling
campaign to Bratnipane, where we hope to find some interesting moraines.

Cheers, Elie Verleyen

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