Triple C - Permafrost Region Drained Lake Basins

Understanding causes and consequences of catastrophic permafrost region lake drainage in an evolving arctic system

Dead Machine and a Wicked Warm Wind Present Challenges


After three glorious days of very nice weather, a new system moved in and brought predicted high winds (see Ben’s Tweet for details @TripleThaw). Added to that, we’re down a snowmachine as Nori busted one of the ETecs. Actually it had been behaving badly in Utqiagvik; thought we had it fixed and good to go, but obviously had some more serious health issues with engine. Given these challenges, I was elected to stay back in camp today to clean up and make sure nothing blows away in gusts above 30 mph from the East.


GP crew and coring crew headed out towards Drew Point. They’ll be fine traveling in this weather, but doing the work get to be a pain because everything fills and gets coated with blowing snow. It relatively warm and sunny out so all that snow melts immediately and gums up tools and samples.


Yesterday as the storm intensified, four of us (named on the fly as the Furious Four) went down to instrument a set of lakes with high drainage potential on along distributary of the Ikpikpuk R, plus set up a met station and did snow surveys at USGS station 13 K to the West. It was overcast and basically couldn’t see anything but occasional tundra along west side of Teshekpuk Lake. We were going to set another station and instrument a lake another 25 K to the east, but wind got notably stronger and decided we best head back to camp. It was a good idea as didn’t get back till 9 and navigating in weird warm winds across flat lightness of the big lake was also challenging.