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Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

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Day 31 - June 5 2006

View from camp toward the mountains to the southwest showing tracks left by our radar mapping.

Another warm (32 F), still (0 mph) day greeted us this morning. It was time to pack up for our trip by Skidoo and sled down to Station Nord. But first, I went out one last time with the radar and did some more high resolution mapping around the drill dome, pausing for a minute every 40 m or so. I did this on both the centerline and center crossline through the drill dome. Next, we had to dissassemble our radar system and pack up our 7 boxes for the return trip. We also had to do considerable repacking of personal gear because of the severe weight restrictions for the Twin Otter flight. The plan was for all 9 of us to return to Station Nord in two trips, leaving the camp vacant overnight. This would also give everyone a chance to shower and wash clothes before flying back to Kangerlussuag.

Sleeping quarters inside one of the large dome tents. Cots are low to the ground, but there is plenty of room for sleeping two to three persons and headroom to stand.

While packing up, we saw another sign of life up here. Bruce spotted a lemming (a small brown rodent) hanging out around our food boxes. How it got here, we do not know for sure, but we speculated that the creature had hitched a ride with us on the Twin Otter from Station Nord where they number in the millions. We gave it some oatmeal and other scraps of food.

Closeup of the lemming that took up residence under our food boxes.

Bruce instituted a concerted effort to find his skis. They had been missing since about the fourth day of the big seven-day storm right after our arrival. He remembered that he had left his ski bag at the head of one of the cargo lines of food. The problem was that the food had been buried, then dug up and moved. His hunt involved part guess work and part process of elimination, and involved a systematic search with probes comprised of tent poles, similar to techniques used to search below the surface for lost victims of an avalanche. After about an hour, his efforts were met with success. His probe hit something just below where our radar box was sitting after we had packed it up. He was able to confirm his find with a shovel and another 15 minutes of hard work digging. We went to bed late, looking forward to the trip to Station Nord in the morning.

Andreas and Bruce relaxing for a few minutes on a warm day at Flade Isblink

Bruce demonstrating the technique for probing for buried objects. He found his skis at this location.


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