New spaces and new faces
It was moving day on the ice. We disassembled our carefully constructed home on the former shores of South Lake, which drained away five days ago. We packed up everything to go 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) north to another recently drained lake, aptly called North Lake. The research team expects to see different processes at work here.
Last year, South Lake drained through a huge channel running from its outer edge. At North Lake last year, the water was swept down a gaping hole called a moulin right in the center of the lake. This year, new observations at South Lake confirmed that its water drained primarily through a huge crack that ran right through the lake.
In the coming days, the researchers hope to piece together the story about what happened at North Lake this year. Did it drain in the same way as last year? Did it drain differently than South Lake? This knowledge can help us understand the fates of the thousands of glacial lakes that form on top of the Greenland Ice Sheet each summer, as well as the affect of these lakes on glaciers flowing to the sea, and the potential impacts of Greenland ice on global climate and sea levels in a warming world.
Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »