The second cave

Thursday 15th November – Thomas Schellenberger

Our first cave has shrunk quite a bit during the last two days due to the movement of the glacier and the weight of roughly 200m of ice which lies on top of us. We start melting again, which means another four hours underneath the glacier. Because of the hot water for melting it feels more like a Turkish bath. The air is full of steam and you can't see the end of the cave which is only 2 metres away. Miriam is shovelling the sediments released by the glacier out of the cave, which would influence the glacier in its movement- a tough job. As PiM wants to have a small cave with a simple geometry which can be easier reproduced in his numerical model, we take a hammer and a chisel to refine the shape of the cave- not as graceful as an ice sculpture, but still… In the afternoon and evening PiM and Paul measure the closure rate of the ice each hour and after their last round at 9pm they arrive back at the living quarters. Exhausted and tired, they are desperately awaiting a strengthening dinner - grilled sausages, red beans in tomato sauce and mashed potatoes.

After the meal the working day for Miriam and PiM is not yet over - they go back to the cave to do another measurement at midnight - that’s the hard life of a glaciologist in the field!

Photos:
melting_equipment: Thomas gets the equipment ready for more melting of the ice.
steamy_tunnel: Thomas in the ice tunnel when it’s full of steam

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