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 Excursion to Aufeis View next topic
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thursday evening after a hearty supper a group of miscellaneous researchers, assistants and crew went for a walk near Galbraith Lake to a no name braided river that drains out of the Endicott mountains of the Brooks Range.
As a New Englander the concept of no-name geography or a blank spot on the map is interesting in itself!
The highlight of the walk was a feature of the river called AUFEIS. It's a German name literally translated as "emerged" or "on top" " ice". My understanding is that as the river freezes, and then flood water escapes its channel, it freezes on top of the banks as shelf ice. Repeating this process over the winter causes frozen layers of ice to build up on the banks of these braided rivers. When spring melt comes the aufeis on the banks is the last to go, and what is witnessed are these beautiful blue layers of ice, some ten or twelve feet high, along the edges of gravel streams. The effect is quite surreal!

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Toolik Field Station Lena River, Siberia Svalbard, Norway Summit, Greenland Prince Patrick Island, Canada Healy Icebreaker Caribou Poker Creek Barrow, Alaska