We arrived at the KISS building (Kangerlussuaq International Science Support) on August 19th and needed to layover until August 22nd to catch the last south bound flight on the C-130.
Kangerlussuaq is found in western Greenland and is located on the northeast end of the Sondre Stromfjord. Kangerlussuaq was founded in 1941 by the establishment of an U.S. air force base.
Staying at the KISS building is a wild experience. It is a dormitory layout and there are scientists coming and going all the time. Jason, Alia and I were hoping to drive out to the ice sheet. Kangerlussauq is home to the longest road in Greenland - 25 kilometers. It is the only place where you can actually drive to the Greenland ice sheet and then upon the ice sheet! The road was built in 2000 to test Volkswagen vehicles in harsh climates. As we were chatting, a researcher overheard our conversation and mentioned that he would be going out that way to test some sensors. We were invited to tag along.
The next afternoon, we joined hydrologist, Lincoln Pitcher from UCLA and his friends and piled in a run-down Toyota pickup. The ride out to the ice sheet was wild. The road is not paved and at times we were driving on the river bed. It took as at least an hour to make our way out to the ice sheet.
Lincoln and his team are studying the discharge rates of the fresh water rivers coming off of the ice sheet. Today, he was setting up his equipment and then returning the following day to camp for 2 nights to collect the data. Lincoln studies the melting water streams on top of the ice sheet as well.
As usual, I was once again treated to the most intense, spectacular scenery.
You can no longer drive onto the ice sheet because of the retreat of the glacier and the newly formed moraines. Because walking out to the ice sheet is such a tourist attraction, they actually plow a foot path through the moraine. There were no foot paths for me through Moraine-ville or Moraine Hellgate Highway! Actually, I preferred it that way.
The weather got quite nasty when we reached the ice sheet so our visit was short.
On our way back to town, we passed a hunting camp and of all things, a military golf course.
Lincoln and his team were so generous to explain what they are researching and wanted people to understand what is happening here at Greenland. That has been my experience all week; the scientists have wanted me to share their field of expertise and to get the word out to the general public. They have been so appreciative of the work that I am trying to do. I hope I do them justice!