Wednesday, December 11, 2013

News from the (coastal) front

It has been a week now since Reinhard (ULB), Nicolas (ROB), Lionel (ULB), Alain and Christophe left PEA for the coast to investigate the Be:Wise network on the Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf (RBIS) and Derwael Ice rise (DIR) for the IceCon project. They now made it to Derwael Ice Rise.

First observations: there was a lot of accumulation over the last season (approximately 1.5m snow equivalent), which makes that the GPS systems needs to be dug out and put up higher (to make the solar panels and wind turbines work properly). The very good news, on the contrary, is that the system has been working throughout the year and was still operational upon arrival!

The coffee-can markers were almost completely buried under the snow, but this did not hamper them from functioning. The measurements of vertical strain at different depths could be carried out, and they will continue (even buried) to do this over the next years. All markers were still well erect and not slanted, compared to those installed on the RBIS.

At RBIS, the team has finished their job in re-measuring all GPS positions. Here, many stakes were slanted due to the wind, and some were even lost. But all in all, the complete strain network could be remeasured.

Weather is fine (and so are they) and they will continue another couple of days at Derwael ice rise before heading back to PEA.



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