Well I would like to say I did extraordinary and exciting things today. In reality, i mostly wrapped loose ends associated with research in far flung places on the globe. Customs paperwork, lots of packing and cleaning, and a bit more of all of that is on the menu for tomorrow as well. This is what I have to show for it. Four boxes of research gear and (not shown) 8 sample containers and a freezer full of items ready to travel with me home. At the end of the day i was rewarded with a wonderful view of the discovery mountain ranges being lit by extraordinary light.
Monthly Archives: February 2013
How long do ice holes stick around?
A student in Julia McFarland’s class at Egan Junior High asked “how often do you have to redrill the holes in the ice.”
The answer is… well it depends. Two factors really impact this 1) how often you tend to it and 2) the time of year. Early in the season (around august through November) the ice is still thickening and it is cold out. In conditions like this it can take as little as a week until it is very difficult to re-open the hole to below. A chain saw will still work but at some point the ice has grown on the sides that one can’t fit down the hole ever if there is open water at the top. If we go out and chip it open every couple to four days, even at that time of year, then the hole will stay good for about a month. However, a hut makes a big difference and we dove out of the same hole that we drilled at the end of August until December with very little work (although we were in and out of it all the time.) So anywhere from a few days to 4 months.
Warm weather diving.
In the last post I pointed out that it was pretty warm out. I spoke to soon.
The weather stayed sunny but the wind has picked up and this late in the season there is nothing in the way of shelter as we get ready to get in the water. It may be a balmy -2C (28 F) in the water but with windchill at -20 C, it is still a bit cold to have exposed hands when getting suited up. When finally putting on my dry gloves they don’t really fit mostly because both they and I are frozen. However once in the water comfort takes over again and back to science we go.
The timing of this project worked out perfectly. The visibility is rapidly improving and is already up to around 100ft. Here is a close up of the worm tubes which are still in full form. Note the brownish hue on the sediment. That is likely the benthic diatoms that are still blooming away.
These are some of the most abundant types of infauna, they are sand anemones called Edwarsia. I had always thought that this was how they always lived but I discovered that they actually burrow around sideways just below the sediment surface in most of the cores. While the are not as numerically as abundant as the spionid polychaetes, they may provide more biomass.
Terril was my dive buddy again. Here he is lite from above by the bright sunny summer day that is awaiting him. You can also see the tether that connects us.