Sunday, March 25, 2012

Geezer Posting (written by Prof. Paul Shepson)

Kerri loading samples into the snow chamber
Things are going very well up here in Barrow!  Kyle and Kerri are working like lunatics; not sure I have ever seen anything like it.  But I like it!  Warms my heart!  They have been doing cool snow chamber experiments, and getting great data on the tundra, where there seems to be a lot of chemistry action.  And who doesn’t like good chemistry!?  Shown to the right is a pic of Kyle in his natural habitat.  On that day, March 23, they did a snow chamber experiment with snow from the sea ice, provided by the venerable Dr. Tom Douglas (U.S. Army Cold Regions Research Lab).  Thanks Tom!  Shown is a picture of Kerri loading up and sampling from the chamber.  It was very cold!


The flights have also been going great.  A couple days ago the “Barrow Lead” (a long thin crack in the ice, along which the Bowhead whales migrate.  The Inupiat eskimos stand at the lead edge on the ice, to hunt the whales.  You can read about this through the great book, “Whaling Season”, by Peter Lourie) opened up.  We flew a couple times up to the lead edge, and got some great pics.  The University of Heidelberg MAX-DOAS allows us to sample the air over the lead (for BrO) without having to fly over it!  We just fly up to the edge with the MAX-DOAS camera pointing forward, and it can see several kms forward of the airplane.  Doing this at multiple altitudes allows us to get vertical profiles over the lead.  Now, all we need is for the lead to freeze over, and we’ll get some frost flowers, so we can test the impact of frost flowers on bromine activation.  For those who want to know about frost flowers, I like the paper by Alvarez-Aviles in JGR in 2008 (JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 113,D21304, doi:10.1029/2008JD010277, 2008).  See below some pics of the lead.  “Wish you were here!”

- Professor Paul Shepson (Purdue University)


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