This morning was actually slower than normal because there were Northern winds. When we got up, everyone was actually just hanging around the Big House just relaxing and having fun. When there are Northern winds, the majority of equipment in camp gets shut down because of the pollution would drift towards the “clean air” section.
At 10 am, we went to see the snow pit that we dug the day before. We were divided into two groups because there could only be a certain amount of people in the pit at once. On top of the pit, there were placed planks of plywood and snow, so that the holes were not disturbed during the night. Another function of the plywood is to keep out light when you are down in the snow pit. When this is done, it is much easier to see the actual lines in the snow/firn showing the different seasons and years. The different layers can be divided into summer and winter, and you can tell what year and how many years the actual pit is showing. The darker layer is winter and the brighter is summer. This is because of the actual season change and the precipitation is different from season to season.
What was very interesting in the snow pit was the layer from 2012 though. Here you could see an actual layer of ice. The summer of 2012 was really warm, and the surface snow melted. Therefore there was created a layer of ice, where you can see the melting. Going from the ice layer and down there were ice-fingers. Here some of the water has been going down through the previous year’s snow. The snow on that spot has been a bit weaker than the snow around, so the water has melted the snow in that area and at some point froze again.
The snow pits can be used to analyze the climate during the years. The further you drill down the more you can analyze and perhaps predict future climate. Our pit was around 2.5 meter deep and we could see the climate and season change possibly back to summer 2011. But the further you dig or drill the thinner the layers will be. The pressure upon the top layers becomes bigger and bigger as there comes more on top of it, and therefore the layers get pressed thinner and thinner, so the density gets higher.
After lunch, we got the chance to go on a scavenger hunt around camp, which was set up by Sara and Domi, the science techs. There was light snow during the hunt which made it sort of difficult to walk to and from buildings. We were split up into two different groups, the Hamsters and the Rats. We used GPS devices in order to find each of the GPS locations given. Each group was given a different route in order to locate all of the GPS appointed locations. There were a total of 8 different locations around camp in order for each group to complete the scavenger hunt. Team Hamster got first but Team Rat finished right behind them. Our prize for competing in the scavenger hunt was yummy hot chocolate, cookies, and candies. It was definitely a good and rewarding prize!
After a delicious dinner, Sara, one of the science techs did a presentation about Svalbard. She has been going back and forth to Svalbard in the past five years and took some of her school semesters there. She showed a lot of great pictures about the wilderness and the nature there. She told us about the University Centre at Svalbard, and how the living environment was like. As Sara showed the slideshow of pictures, she told about which courses you can take in the University, which includes arctic geology, arctic biology, arctic geophysics, and arctic engineering. She told us about some exciting things to do at Svalbard like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and more. The presentation was very exciting and very thoughtful! It definitely enhanced our knowledge about future arctic science study schools.
Words of the Day: (English/Danish/ Greenlandic/ Spanish)
Scavenger Hunt/Skattejagt/ La casa de tesoro
Weather Today at Summit Station:
Time: 7:30 am
Temperature: -14 degrees C
Wind Speed and Direction: 8 kn 38 N
Time: 1:00 pm
Temperature: -11 degrees C
Wind Speed: 13 kn 92 E
Time: 6:30 pm
Temperature: -10 degrees C
Wind Speed and Direction: 10 kn 107 E