21 July, 2001
Well, things are getting better. The weather has improved; there is no rain, and no wind. Not much sun yet either, but fieldwork conditions are great. Further, Rickard (a graduate student from Stockholm University)figured out the problem with the drill. So we drilled five holes at our new location today. I recorded four of these holes on videotape. Two of the holes went all the way to the bed of the glacier (120 meters or about 370 feet). This means that we did not encounter any englacial drainage features during drilling of these holes. Two of the holes drained at relatively shallow drilling depths - 10 meters and 17 meters.
The cage that I attach to the camera has a number of purposes. First, we attach a screen to the cage to provide a grid with fixed dimensions. When parcticles flow by into or out of the conduit we can use this grid to measure the velocity of the parcticles and hence the flow rate of the water in the conduit. We also attach thread to look at its deflection in the flow of water in the conduit. We also attach flexible plastic strips that will retract into the conduit, from which we can measure the diameter of the conduit. The cage is made out of copper because this material is non-magnetic. So, when we attach a compass to get the orientation of the conduit it will give us magnetic north. Most other common metallic materials are magnetic and affect compass needles. But, the conduits we are seeing are not the tube-shaped features that have been theorized in the scientific literature on this topic. What we are seeing are more fracture-like. We also do not observe much flow in the conduits unless it is raining quite hard. We are having quite the discussions about the nature of these features.
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