Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Welcome to Iceland fieldwork from above... by Jez Everest

Jez Everest established our Virkisjökull Glacier Observatory in 2009, and new equipment has been installed each year to monitor climate, ice dynamics, landscape change, hydrology and groundwater. Today, with the snow keeping them close to camp, Jez has put together a little intro video with the new hexacopter footage...

The BGS Glacier Project machine grinds into gear once more, boldly going where none have gone before. Well almost. This time the team consists of a mixture of BGS and GSNI staff, plus staff and MSc and MRes students from Dundee and Lancaster Universities, here for 10 days with a huge range of research activities to complete.



Atypically the trip started with delays caused by a late shipment of equipment from the UK. Who would have thought it was so hard to transport LiPo batteries between countries? However the blue roof of Austurbaer at Svinafell hove into view on Wednesday evening, bathed in sunshine. Thursday was spent steam drilling holes in the glacier to discover meltwater pathways along faults and thrusts, sampling various water sources for sulphur isotopes, and testing the hexacopter which will carry our thermal imaging kit to be used on the trip… more on this hopefully later in the week. There was still a bit of time for Paul and Ali to go for a run before dinner, and for me to do some video using the quadcopter.

Unfortunately today has seen bucket loads of snow, hiding crevasses on the glacier, and blanketing the ground, obscuring features and their thermal properties from the two drone helicopters. The only work possible has been to download all the groundwater borehole data, test various bits of kit, and piece together a short intro video for your enjoyment. The Dundee students have also had to do a series of presentations for their MSc coursework, via the internet to their classmates and staff back at home. So still plenty to do, despite the Christmassy weather outside.

Hopefully we will be able to get back on the ice, and get all our birds in the air tomorrow, really getting the research programme underway.
I’ll keep you posted
Jez

1 comment:

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