Data Collection Recap - We Aee Halfway There

The last three days have been full of intermittent rain storms. Regardless, sampling has gone on and the team is making solid headway towards AMS and Pre-Consolidation data collection. We have officially completed all data collection on our first drumlin, and are making our way across the inter-drumlin area towards the second drumlin.

team work
We are making our way across the inter-drumlin testing area towards Drumlin #2. Here you can see Tom and Neal on the far right in the last sampling pit of Drumlin #1, with Libby and Reba in the middle of the frame completing work in the first pit of the inter-drumlin, while on the left you can see James, Luke, Geoff, and I excavating the second pit of the inter-drumlin.

We are doing the best we can to make sure our sampling teams do not 'catch up' with the trenching teams. That way, sampling can go on without interruption at each fresh trench or pit that is excavated

excavate team
The Excavation Team rejoices a short break from the rain while digging out the first set of sampling pits in Drumlin #2.

We have completed at least two AMS fabrics (25 plastic cube samples in each fabric), a handful of Pre-Consolidation samples, and at least two Bulk Density samples at each of the four pits/trenches on the first drumlin. Last night, the team took a few hours after supper to organize all of the samples to date before Tom, Neal, and Luke depart back home tomorrow. As the PhD Student on the project, Reba took charge of this task. I must say she is quite the organizer!

reba organize
PhD student, Reba, worked to organize everyone's field notes into one common document. She also put all of the AMS, Pre-Consolidation, and Bulk Density samples in order and in tubs. Thanks Reba!

Luke, James, and I brought the GPR up on the Mulajokull ice margin for the first time to try and collect some radar data where drumlins are emerging from the ice. This data may be useful back home in determining how the structures of till layers in the drumlins change from under the ice versus after the ice retreats. We collected data and dragged the GPR across the ice for about 2 km west towards another potential drumlin site to sample.

gpr on ice
Luke, James, and I getting ready to take the GPR on the ice margine of Mulajokull. I got some GREAT video of this by attaching my ContourGPS camera to the radar for the duration of data collection. I'll be sure to share it as soon as I get home to better internet connectivity!

Today, Libby and Geoff embarked back to the eastern side of the forefield with Neal and Tom (their project advisors) to begin the initial data collection for their Master's degree projects. As the rain poured down, the rest of us reluctantly left the warm confines of the cook tent and hiked back to our drumlin testing site to continue sampling. Reba and I began AMS sampling in the second inter-drumlin pit while Luke and James retrieved the GPR from further down glacier.

reba and I sample
Reba and I spent Saturday 8.10 sampling the last bit of AMS in the muddy and messy inter-drumlin area.

The pit that Reba and I sampled is an important one: the AMS and Pre-Consolidation results from the inter-drumlin areas will help shed light on how depositional forces play a role in drumlins are formation. The results from the inter-drumlin area will help determine how pressure gradients forced the till in certain directions, and will show whether till was forced towards the current drumlin locations (depositional Boulton hypothesis), or if the till was forced away from the current till locations (alternate hypothesis).

Of course, the rain made our work in this important pit all that more interesting...

boots in mud
Our feet spent the day ankle deep in the mud while we sampled…

reba and I sample 2
After we finished the AMS fabrics, we attempted about 10 Pre-Consolidation samples. None of them were successful. The rain saturated the till too much, making it even more difficult to successfully extract any samples.

reba and I sample 3
Here is a close-up of why the Pre-Consolidation samples didn't go too well today. Too much mud!

International Teammates Arrive Tomorrow

On Sunday morning Dr. Iverson, Dr. Hooyer, and Dr. Zoet will leave the field and depart back home to begin preparing for their semester of classes at ISU and UWM. Reba, Libby, Geoff, James, Sandie, and I will remain here at Mulajokull for another 8 days to continue fieldwork. We will not be alone though: the helicopter will drop-off our four international team members before taking Neal, Tom, and Luke back to Reykjavik. We are excited to welcome our Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish teammates to base camp tomorrow! Especially because there is a rumor that they may be showing up with a full lamb to roast over an open fire later this week!

neal looks on
Dr. Iverson looks out over the drumlin field at Mulajokull. He departs the field on Sunday 8.11, and it will be a year before he comes back to finish his field work next summer. For now, he and his students, along with Dr. Hooyer and his students, have an entire winter's worth of AMS, Pre-Consolidation, and Bulk Density samples to process before returning back to Mulajokull.

In the next journal, you can learn all about James' Undergraduate project that he is working on out here with the remaining fieldwork days. Also, Libby and Reba are going to write a guest-blog about what it is like to be a female scientist, and why it is so valuable to for women to pursue careers in science fields.

Well, Sandie is currently whipping up another masterpiece (homemade Minestrone soup!), so I better go wash up and get ready for supper.



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