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> July 23, 2006 - A Day for Play, Aufice
Charla_Jordan
post Jul 26 2006, 08:33 AM
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July 23, 2006 – A Day for Play
Temperature 70, partly cloudy


What an amazing day! I think I say that everyday at Toolik. Today is Sunday and at Toolik everyone has the day off. I slept late and worked on my journal entries. The research assistants in my group decided to go to see this natural phenomenon called Aufice. I was tempted to stay at camp and work, but I decided to go—And boy am I glad I did!

Our journey took us 30 minutes south of Toolik Field Station where we parked in a gravel pit and started walking up a river bed.

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We saw beautiful scenery on the way.

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We started seeing ice—Aufice to be exact. Aufice are sheets of ice that form in the winter by natural springs that don’t freeze and continue to flow. The layers of ice build up, creating a mini glacier that lasts into the summer. Aufice can be 30 – 40 feet thick. The spring continues to flow in the summer cutting into the ice forming caves, crevasses, and tunnels. When the sun light shines thru the ice it appears to be glowing blue layers of ice.

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First view of the Aufice.

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Can you see the bluish colored layers?

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The river carves an ice tunnel in the summer.

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When the ice starts to melt, it makes these elongated crystal called candle ice.

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Jef exploring

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To travel farther up river, we had to walk thru the fast-flowing river.

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Jef and Amie were the first up. I decided that if they didn’t fall through the ice, then I would join them.

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The ice is starting to melt and as pieces brake off they form beautiful crevasses.

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I was very brave!

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Manuvering around the ice sometimes got a little scary—Carol took the safe route.

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Standing in the stream at the end of an ice tunnel is Charla, Arctic Adventurer!

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We walked around the river back. This picture shows were we had been.

I did many things today that I never thought I would do: climb a rock ledge, walk through a raging river, and walk on aufice. Today was definately the best day yet. Tomorrow we start the plunk!


***Question of the Day: What does the word Aufice mean? Post your answer in the "Ask a teacher" section.
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Maggie_Kane
post Jul 26 2006, 09:31 AM
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Hi Charla - wow, what cool aufice formations! And, yes, you were very brave. Thanks for posting the pictures so we can see how really blue the layers look. It looks like a great day off!

Maggie
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