A Winter Amusement Park Ride
I think I have experienced a new winter amusement park ride....it involves sitting in a wooden box attached to a snowmobile and flying over the tundra....oh yeah, the temperature should be at least -20C. Sound like a lot of fun? Actually, it is not too bad. We have old couch cushions to sit on and the scenery is beautiful, that is if your goggles have not fogged up.
We were divided into teams of three at each sampling site where we had to dig a pit and investigate the various layers of snow. For each layer we had to measure depth, temperature, density and compressibility, as well as analyze the type of snow particles and their size within each layer. Then we had to take 11 core samples, noting depth and weight of the snow core, and bringing three of the samples back to the lab to measure conductivity and pH. The photo shows me taking the cores with the Adirondack Snow Corer. Yes, that is what it is called - it was invented in the Adirondacks. Go figure, and now it is used for Arctic research. Pretty cool - no, cold :) We then moved to 2 other locations within the site and repeated the process. Then, it was back to the Study Centre for lunch and back out in the field after lunch. In all, each team collected data at 5 sites with 44 snow cores made. With 5 teams, that is 25 sites and 275 cores. Remember what I always say about sample size....bigger is always better. Tomorrow is another day for us to collect more data.