Monday, December 17, 2007

What the glacier tells us

We've had a great deal of melt over the last few days. The lower Canada Glacier has swift streams and ponds collect in pools, that pour from their pinched outflows. Sediment melts into the glacier and creating pocked surfaces and odd meltforms. All this water means that a whole lot of science is underway. Liz Bagshaw (Martyn Tranter's dissertation student) is examining nutrients and other chemical info in cryoconite holes, the ice-lidded tombs that form from sediment melting into the glacier surface. Matt Hoffman (Andrew Fountain's dissertation student) is working to understand and model how glacier melt occurs on polar glaciers and what this means for lake levels. I spent much of yesterday collecting trace metal samples from the streams and lakes on the glacier. (I collected the inflows and outflow from the large pond in several of the above pictures along with several more isolated cryoconite holes).

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