Háskóli Íslands

Glaciology JAR621G - Field excursion 2018

Ablation measurements on Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull 13 May 2018

As a part of the course in glaciology the students measure the ablation on 2 locations at the snout of Sólheimajökull.  In previous years the ablation has been 7-9 m in the summer and additional 3 m in the winter, so it is important to drill the wire deep enough into the ice.  The Icelandic Mountainguides (http://www.mountainguides.is/) provided us with crampons as well as guiding us op to the measurement locations.

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Coming closer to Sólheimajökull (photo: Andrea Håkansson)

 

A group of people standing on top of a mountainDescription generated with very high confidence

 

This year there were two groups going up to prepare the measurements, which meant that the first group carried the equipment up on the glacier and the second group took it down again. Carrying the equipment is not an easy task, but it was handled well (photo: Andrea Håkansson). 

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Putting on the crampons before stepping up on the glacier (photo: Andrea Håkansson)

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The Icelandic Mountainguides leading the first group up onto the glacier (photo: Andrea Håkansson)

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Before drilling, the steam drill had to be filled with water. This could easily be done with the meltwater flowing on top of the glacier (photo: Andrea Håkansson)

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The water is turned into steam, which flows through the hose out to the metal end. This is then what drills into the ice.

A group of people that are standing in the snowDescription generated with very high confidence

The drilling went well for both groups. The first (‘lower’) hole was drilled circa 9.4 m deep and the second (‘top’) was 9.7 m deep (photo: Andrea Håkansson)

The first measurement of the length of the wire that comes out of the surface was made 13.5.2018.

 

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