Monday, February 27, 2012

Icelandic weather...

We enjoyed some predictably appalling weather during the February "Landscape" sampling. Temperatures either side of zero C, everything from rain through sleet and snow to hail, and some really interesting wind and fog. Definitely the worst weather in which I have ever worked - it made the North Slope in winter look like cake. Here are a few shots - the ones taken when I dared to get the camera out...

The Diamesa didn't seem to care though...

At least the cabin was cosy (most of the time). Even when it wasn't, it was a lot better than being outside. Here are a few shots of cabin life.

The snorers' room - otherwise known as the kitchen:

Our intrepid postdoc brushes up on his R... wait a minute!

Cave streams in Iceland?

The massive snowpack up at Hengill has left many of our streams buried in 8-10 feet of the miserable white stuff. There was only one thing to do on our trip this month: DIG! Here are some shots of various folks down the resulting holes:

The warmer streams in particular have carved tunnels through the snow with up to 2 or 3 feet of crawl-space, making at least Alex and I feel like we were back in an Alabama cave stream. A weird convergence. Here's a shot of Stream 9 flowing through its "cave." There is some light filtering through the snow - we'll find out if any primary production is occurring.

The little heat exchanger that could

Things are looking a little precarious for the heat exchanger. Iceland's heaviest snowpack in almost thirty years has left 10-12 feet of snow towering all around the pool in Stream 8 where the exchanger sits. We're hoping it all melts in a laid-back fashion, but we're prepared in case it doesn't. Here's a shot of Alex Huryn standing at the edge of the pool. You can see the pipes and manifolds of the heat exchanger at the bottom of the photo.

Despite all the snow, the heat exchanger has been working like a champ. Here's a plot of the differences in temperature upstream and downstream of the heat exchanger outlet in Stream 7. The pre-manipulation anomaly has been normalized to zero. Based on winter differences between upstream and downstream, we have a warming of 2.7 degrees C. If it hadn't been for the hiccup last December (see earlier posts), we would have been close to a 3 degree increase.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A welcome back and winter sampling

It has been a busy month of February up at Hengill. I arrived back in Reykjavik after an unplanned 3+ month hiatus to a warm welcome from friends at the
Translation: Little Jim
Veiðimálostofnun, my very own Veiði coffee mug! Now I am officially part of the family.

Properly caffeinated, I was quickly brought up to speed on winter sampling in Iceland after digging multiple snow pits in an unsuccessful search of pressure loggers from the
2+ meters of snow covering some of our streams.
Jim breaking in the new snow shovels

Luckily for us Jims we shortly would have a crew from the US to aid us in our search. After lots of sweat and PI "encouragement" from Alex, Jon, and Wyatt we liberated all the logger data, completed a good chunk of the winter quarterly sampling, and spent good times around a wood fire in the scout cabin we rented for the week.

The crew loaded up for a hard day's work at the crack of dawn, 9:30

Check out a few photo highlights in the album to the right, and keep posted for more highlights and pictures.