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EGRIP expedition 2018 – Thomas Röckmann


Day 18: Surface snow sampling and last day in EGRIP camp

Today I took the opportunity to collect some snow samples. I want to bring these samples back to Utrecht because Dusan Materic in our group will analyze organic compounds in the snow. So after breakfast I went out together with Tobias and Alexandra to the clean snow area on the west side of the camp where they study surface snow processes every day. I went out to the sampling area furthest away from the camp because I want to avoid contamination from the camp itself as much as possible. It may still not be far enough, the results will tell…

Tobias had told me how to take a snow core with a liner (basically a plastic tube). After cleaning for a few times I pushed the liner into the firn, and dug a hole next to it to get an idea of the firn properties and be able to cut the core off at the bottom.

Since this is the first time I did this, it is for sure not a perfect sampling, but I think it did the job. I went back with my core towards camp where Alexandra and Tobias were taken their surface snow samples. They gave me some tips and tools how to take the samples from the core, and I went into the small trench to collect the samples. I first placed the core in a measurement and cutting device. The core broke several times when it came out of the liner because the firn in the top layers is still very soft, but the bottom half meter or so remained quite intact.

Then I cut the firn core in ~ 3 cm pieces with two metal plates. I took a piece, scraped off about 3 mm of ice to avoid contamination from the cutting and then sampled the firn directly into the sampling bottles. I collected 15 small samples from the bottom about 50 cm of the core. This was a fun side project, and I hope that we will be able to get interesting results.

After the surface sampling I went to the firn air camp again where Johannes, Camilla and Kevin were continuing to drill the shallow core. They are at about 100 m depth now and are collecting beautiful ice cores. I helped for some time with the drilling and logging.

When I was back at the Dome I went to the top level to take some farewell pictures in all directions on this beautiful day, here some examples:

Then it was Saturday night dinner again. Before dinner we had special Aerial Silk performance of Valerie (my movie is too large to be uploaded). The dinner itself included Sashimi prepared bi Morihiro, and after dinner Nicolas gave a short dance lesson…. we had fun!

… but I went to bed relatively early because tomorrow we will have to get up at 7 to finish the firn air pallet and our luggage.