Háskóli Íslands

Glaciology JARD609G - Field excursion 2015

Ablation measurements on Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier of Mýrdalsjökull 10 May 2015

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.  We got assistance from the Icelandic Mountainguides (http://www.mountainguides.is/), they lend the whole group crampons and ice axes and guide us up to the measurement locations. Thanks to Matteo Meucci for making measurements during the winter.

The whole group participating the field trip 9-10 May 2015

The steam drill is carried from the parking place to the glacier and everybody takes turn in carrying the load (photo Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir).

In front of the glacier we all learnt how to put the crampons on the shoes (photo Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir)

When everyone was ready the walk on the glacier started under the guidance of glacier guides from Icelandic Mountainguides (photo Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir).

The drill is ready when the water is boiling and the pressure in the steam drill has increased enough for the steam to come out of the hose, the hose becomes warm so it is nice to warm cold fingers on it (photo Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir).

Students took turns in drilling the hole and both holes where about 11 m deep (photo Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir).

After successful drilling of two wires into the surface of the ice the group walks back down the snout of the glacier (photo Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir).

The first measurement of the length of the wire that comes out of the surface was made 10.5.2015


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