Next Saturday I head north to the Canadian High Arctic to continue our studies of perennial springs in regions of thick permafrost. It is unusual to have liquid water flowing at the surface in a region where mean annual temperatures are -16°C and permafrost depths reach 600 m or more. But Axel Heiberg Island is such a place and soon we will be camped near the outflow of a the spring that cascades down through a small valley just below Stolz Diapir, one of many salt domes that are found on Axel Heiberg. The spring water exits the salt dome at a temperature of 0.5°C and forms large barrage pools of water and salt. These pools can be very, very cold, especially in the winter and early spring, nearing the eutectic point (~ -22°C for NaCl solutions) as one moves downslope and into the valley. Eventually the spring flow will form a large icing feature in the valley as it slowly creeps towards the fiord. Once air temperatures are close to -10°C, the icing and its salts are re-mobilized and the water begins to flow again. Today in the Eureka, on nearby Ellesemere Island, the air temperature is -37° C with a low temperature hitting -40°C. These low temperatures can make camping in a remote region a bit challenging, but its worth the effort and it is important that we study and collect samples at these unusual springs not just during "warm" summer months, but during the colder months as well. Its actually a wonderful time to be in the High Arctic, and if we are lucky we will have a few visits by wolves, musk ox, Perry Caribou and perhaps even a few ravens. If you would like to visit this site, you can "fly" there by Google Earth. Jut put into the search box the following coordinates. Thanks to the Polar Geospatial Center and Google Earth, the resolution of the imagery is quite nice. Stolz Diapir Springs: 79.087475°, -87.025729°
Please help make the continuation of this research possible!
- FueledDirector of Marketing, 2012 - 2012
- Morpheus MediaExperienced interactive media and technology consultant, mobile development strategist and marketing professional, 2006 - 2011
- Giant Step
- Takeout Marketing
- Telluride Academy
Jeffrey Donenfeld is an experienced interactive media and technology strategist, freelance photographer, and avid adventurer. He lives and work in New York City, and travels the world as much as possible.
Experience the adventure of a lifetime, and capture it all.
- University of Colorado at Boulder2004
- New York University
- Cincinnati State Technical College
- National Outdoor Leadership School
- American Alpine Institute
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