Sunday, 2 December 2012

Flashbacks to Iceland - visit our YouTube Channel

The latest videos to be uploaded to our youtube channel are those Jez Everest popped on facebook whilst he was out in Iceland during the September fieldwork season. Now these glimpses into science and life at the BGS Virkisjökull Glacier Observatory are avaliable for everyone to enjoy:


ICELAND GLACIER OBSERVATORY: 14.09.12 Jez Everest
THE SCIENCE OF STEAM

The Dundee /BGS PhD student, Verity Flett takes control of the new steam drill as part of her project. She will be measuring the amount of glacier surface lowering, ie 
melting, by inserting 12m long stakes into the ice, and then measuring the amount that has re-emerged at periodic intervals throughout the year. With the help of one of her supervisors, Martin Kirkbride from Dundee University Geography, Verity is establishing a network of these ablation stakes across the glacier.

She will also be investigating the linkages between the mass balance of the glacier, and the hydrology of the wider catchment, including the groundwater monitoring already established this summer.

The steam drill is a custom build from Erich Heucke in Germany. It is certainly very effective at drilling through the ice, each 12m hole taking less than 30 minutes to complete. Apparently you can also brew up a cuppa and heat sausages on it. Result!



ICELAND GLACIER OBSERVATORY: 14.09.12 Jez Everest
THE MARGIN EVOLVES...

Well ladies and gents, this may well be the last trip we get on the ice from the front. The meltwater drainage system that we have been studying, is now starting, finally, to enlarge and collapse the caverns and tunnels in the ice buried under the sandur beyond the active glacier margin. The 'buried ice foreland' is changing on a daily basis, and changes are even visible from one minute to the next, as 
what was previously flat ground suddenly drops and reveals a sink hole.

We are being very vigilant, and staying to the ground we know is safe. This is helped by the experienced guys from the Glacier Guides company, who are escorting tourists onto the ice. We follow their footprints for the safe route to the ice front.

The video here will give you some idea of what it looks like- believe me on the ground it is pretty exciting!

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