Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Murphy's Law

Here's an update covering the last 4 or 5 days.

Late last week the weather turned cold and rainy - more typical for Iceland this time of year. As a result of the rain, the hot pond has been pretty cold (16˚C). Hengladals√°, the main river, has also been high lately forcing us to walk overland. Here's Tanner by Hengladals√° on Friday.

Friday was Philip's last full day. It was cold and windy. We tried to spend the day making sure that we had the right configuration (HEX: series V. parallel; one or two inlet tubes; etc.) for the channel experiment. We had hoped that once we figured that out Tanner and I could finish the set up and get the channel experiments going. We quickly learned that we had a couple serious problems. The HEXs were leaking due to some plastic clamps that were a smidgen too small. Also, a number of our 2-inch couplers failed because the PVC glue we used doesn't set up in the cold and wet. Tanner, Philip, and I were down in the dumps after the end of the day (and cold and wet).

We ordered better fitting clamps for the HEX. I'm waiting for a sunny day when I can glue up all of the fittings. There should be a sunny day in the next couple weeks. Anyway, Friday was a pretty exhausting day. Here's Tanner and Philip taking a cat nap in the Veidi break room, right after a couple double expressos:

Saturday morning, Tanner and I dropped of Philip at the Flybus and then headed out to Hengill. The day was cold and wet again, so we focused on moving equiptment from the river to the channel experiment site. We moved the remaining seven rolls of 2-inch pipe across the field. Then, we moved all of the tiles over in 50 - 60 lb batches. Tanner also laid out the second 2-inch inlet pipe.

On Sunday, we were hoping that the weather would be nice enough to repair some of the couplings. But it rained, so we moved 4 of the 5 header tanks over as well as all of the channels. There's just one header tank lingering by the river now which I moved over on Monday. That feels pretty good!

Lately, I have been feeling more like a backwoods moving company than an ecologist. Here's an accounting of everything we have moved about a quarter of a mile across the meadow:

16 rolls of 2-inch tubes, about 50 lbs each = 800 lbs
5 header tanks = 50 lbs
~ 3600 2.5 x 2.5 cm tiles = 250 lbs
2 boxes of fittings = ~100 lbs
Channels = ~50 lbs
4 straight HEXs = 100 lbs
3 spiral HEXs = 75 lbs

Total = 1400 lbs

Philip calculated that we cleared 6000 ft2 from the feeder stream.

I'm glad that we finished the hauling stage of this project.

Luckily, the recent rain has begun melting the snow that has accumulated in the valley. Here's Tanner standing in the ice cave over stream 8 (~ 22˚C). This is the first time I've seen a cave over stream 8 since I began working here in 2010.

Here's me installing some loggers in the cave over stream 7, the stream we experimentally warmed.

And finally, Sunday was Tanner's last day in Iceland. Here's a little tribute to his field lunches: 5 jumbo snicker bars, 3 skyrs, a container of peanuts, a big bottle of fancy juice, and a cup of coffee. That's not a regular coffee. Its a double americano topped off with 2 shots of expresso - if you are counting that's 4 shots of expresso. That's a pretty standard lunch for Tanner, who can not eat gluten. The snicker bars really keep you going while ferrying equipment across the meadow in the cold rain.

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