This week we have been back at F6 getting things done in the Fryxell Basin. We have been checking boxes to make sure the electronics are working properly, and to check the nitrogen systems for leaks. The electronics have been solid with one exception, but the nitrogen systems have been giving us the most trouble. We are using old tanks that have seen their fair share of seasons and regulators that have some pretty rough threads. Not to mention there is sand that is blown everywhere that gets into the threads. This combo makes for plenty of leaks that are nearly impossible to detect. As a result a couple of our systems were drained of nitrogen over the week, and now need to be replaced. We ran out of spare tanks so we are waiting to get them from town, along with a new satellite phone, some food, and miscellaneous supplies.
We have also been surveying the elevations of our control structures, and orifice locations. We have known established benchmark elevations at every stream gauge (bolts in large rocks), and we reference the other elevations to these to ensure the ground isn't shifting and changing the elevation of our instrumentation. All of this takes quite a bit of time at each gauging station and it involves a lot of standing around. This is pretty brutal just because you can get cold pretty quick, but the weather has been insanely nice the past couple of days. It has been in the mid 30s (Fahrenheit) with minor winds. I don't know how long this weather is going to keep up, but I am not complaining.
|I took this before going to bed one night. I thought that we were going to get hit with a pretty good storm, but it cleared up and we woke up to another beautiful day.|