Yesterday we moved to a different field camp further inland at Lake Bonney. Here, we will be sampling another water track. So, today, we traveled around the lake to a water track called Wormherder Creek, which I've worked on quite a bit before. To get there, we took the only wheeled vehicles allowed in the dry valleys: ATVs.
At Wormherder Creek, I helped locate the flow of water in the water track so that we could sample the water belowground. How do you find a water track, you might wonder? Well, Joe demonstrates int his photo. You poke around in the ground with a steel rod until it comes out wet. (Just like finding out if a cake is done baking!)
Once we found the flow of groundwater in the water track, Kelly and I set up piezometers. Piezometers are like miniature wells. They are pipes we pound into the ground that we use to pull up the groundwater. I had to carry a bunch of stuff up to the very top of the water track, where the glacier melts to release the water that feeds the water track. I didn't have my backpack with me, so I put everything into my pockets. I felt like Where's Waldo!
In this picture, I have the following items on me:
- a trowel to take soil samples from the piezometer location
- a metal mallet to pound in the piezometer
- plastic bags for soil and water samples
- two field notebooks
- Joe's fancy camera to document the water track
- a GPS to document the location
- two piezometer tubes
- the steel rod for finding the groundwater flow
- a probe that measures soil moisture, temperature, and conductivity
- a pencil, a pen, and two sharpies
I don't have any pictures that show how far up we walked up a steep incline. This picture is from almost the top, once it flattened out a bit. It was quite a hike carrying all of that in my pockets!
Tomorrow we go back to Wormherder Creek so that I can measure CO2 flux. That will be my last scientific activity of 2012, because that will be New Year's Eve for us!