Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June Fieldwork

What do you get if you put two engineers and a stream together? A dam, of course!

We were joined in June by Drs. Pauline and Philip Johnson from the University of Alabama's Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. Here they are busy doing some geomorphic work at the top of our warm stream (Stream 8). This is the eventual site for the heat exchanger that will warm water for the thermal manipulation of the adjacent cold stream.

The engineers are joined in this picture by Alex Huryn and Dan Nelson, the Ph.D. student who is working on the warming experiment. Philip is holding one of the manifolds for the heat exchanger. The whole thing will need to be submerged eventually. Hence, the need for some kind of dam.

In addition to planning for the construction and installation of the heat exchanger (set for September 2011), we also did a lot of fieldwork in Streams 7 and OH2, the two streams under intensive study as part of the warming experiment. Here's a shot of some benthic metabolism measurements under way at OH2.

Another task was to continue collecting reaeration data from Streams 7 and OH2. Here's a shot of our set-up for delivering a solution of rhodamine and SF6 to the streams using a gas bag and metering pump.

All in all, the June trip was a great success. We brought 500 lbs of gear to Iceland (for $110!), got a lot of fieldwork done and brought several months-worth of samples home safely. We even managed to get the dry shipper all the way home on the plane - quite a victory after some miserable failures.

Now we're gearing up for the very busy summer ahead. The undergraduate assistants arrive on 15 June and work on the landscape temperature gradient will start soon after. Let's hope for some pleasant weather!

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