12. Field report

Alert, 30 April, 2006

Received from Ron Verral and Trine Dahl-Jensen

Edited by Henrik Højmark Thomsen, GEUS

Continued terrible weather and ice camp shut down

26 April, 2006

Weather in Alert: -13, snow, low cloud, wind 13 km/h.

Still bad weather. The Twin Otter was not able to return from Eureka to day with the new crews due to the bad weather here in Alert.

27 April, 2006

Weather in Alert: -8, freezing drizzle, low visibility, wind 9 knots

Still no change in the weather. It has been quite consistent over the last week – terrible. Foggy, cloudy, and warm – very unlikely the typical weather i April. The Twin Otter arrived from Eureka with the new aircrew, but the weather was too bad for helicopter flying. We are soon writing 1 May and with this weather, we have the feeling, that we will not be able to do a full seismic programme with eleven shots at the cross line – our last seismic line. We have decided to shut down the ice camp and get rid of the excess explosives, which is stored there. We have still explosives lying at the new cache at the cross line, which we established at 24 and 25 April. It is enough for six shots, so we are still able to make a reduced seismic programme at the cross line, if the weather improve.

Furthermore we will start flying people out of Alert, because we do not need such a large gang of people here anymore. During the day a Twin Otter arrived from Greenland to take Søren Ryesgaard, Martin Blicker and Christian Marcussen back south.

28 April, 2006

Weather in Alert: sun, clear

The sun was shinning in Alert. It was nice to see the sun again. But there was still fog and low cloud over the ice, so it was not possible for us to fly out with helicopters from the base. The Twin Otter took a group out to the ice camp to start tiding up at the camp and to bring the helicopter back, which has been grounded there since 21 April (read 10. Field report). During the day, they succeeded to blast some of the excess explosives, which was stored at the camp. Furthermore the helicopter took off from the ice camp and started the search for the five instruments on the outer line, which we did not find during the operation at 21 April. The helicopter team managed to find the satellite beacon at position OS7, which was left there to help the search for the receivers. However we had to give up the search, because the weather again turned bad. The weather at the ice camp was unusually warm with a temperature as warm as -1. And the three occupants of the camp had suffered from high winds for a couple of days. During the day the weather conditions decreased with less and less visibility, so again we had to leave the helicopter in the ice camp, because it was not possible to fly it back to Alert. Because of the poor and deteriorating conditions the inhabitants in the ice camp – Jøren Skafte, Greg Middleton and Mike Gorveatt were all brought back to Alert with the Twin Otter. The ice camp is now unpopulated, and the three tents and the helicopter will be brought back to Alert as soon as possible.

Arne Olesen from Danish Space Center is busy making gravity measurements at one of the positions on the outer line.

29 April, 2006

Weather in Alert: -13, sunny, light wind

The sun was shinning again to day in Alert, but the weather over the ice was bad in the morning. During late morning it cleared from south and early afternoon one helicopter took off from Alert with the BG-team – Jim Milne, Morten Sølvsten and Arne Olesen. Finnaly the BG-team succeded to get on the ice to continue their measurements of water depts and gravity along the inner and outer line, which they started at 13 April (read 8. Field report). They managed to measure at another 27 positions along the lines. At two of the posistions, where they should measure, there was open water, but on the return flight back along the lines they succedded to find a landing site close to the planned measuring points.

The other helicopter also took of in the early afternoon heading for Frankfield Bay in North Greenland, where Jørgen Skafte and Trine Dahl-Jensen should retrieve data from the earthquake seismic station, which has been recording data during the LORITA-1 project. However they had to return without any results, because there had been trouble with the recording unit at the station, and it has not been recording any data from the detonated shots.

During the day the Twin Otter once again visited the weather station Eureka with a gang of people from Alert. We have therefore said good-bye for this time to Greg Middleton, Mike Gorveatt, Ron Verral, John Boserup, Isa Asudeh and John Shimeld.

30 April, 2006

Weather in Alert: -17, sunny, calm

Once more sun in Alert, but the weather over the ice was again bad with fog and overcast. It was not possible for us to fly out with the helicopters. It cleared slowly from the north over the unpopulated ice camp in the evening, and the Twin Otter took off to the ice camp with a group to shut down the camp and get back the helicopter to Alert. During the evening the group succeeded to blast the last explosives, that was left in the camp, and to pack the last equipment. The Twin Otter and the helicopter returned very late to Alert, so the ice camp is now empty.

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