TOMCAR-Permafrost contributes in « Uncovering Pieces of the Arctic Mercury Puzzle«
30 minutes ago, Théo (the historical sampler of the Yenisei) tooks the hovercraft for the Igarka airport to go back in France.
10th of June 2016, 10h30, Spring continues to settle in Igarka and gives to the Yenisei banks greenish colors that would almost make us think to “La prairie des Filtres” (special mention for my friends in Toulouse).
The flood peak has now passed (05/06) and we sampled each day the last week for ensuring to have a maximum amount of data on this so particular period.
Yenisei waters were black, full of organic matter and it was an amazing spectacle to observe remaining ice breaks from the branch of Igarka leaving to Arctic ocean.
From now, we reduce the field sampling frequency to one or two times per week but others field works are coming. Igarka will also serve as a calibration site for the SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) satellite whose the mission is driven for part by a team of CESBIO (Centre d’Etude Spatiale de la BIOsphère) in Toulouse.
SMOS aims to characterize soil moisture across the Earth all 3 days with a spatial resolution of ~ 40-50 km and already provides different products for users working on this topic.
You can visit the SMOS blog at this address: HERE.
Arctic region soils are critical for SMOS since their strong organic matter concentrations need to adapt the calibration of the delivered products by this satellite.
Next week, the TOMCAR team will take care of installing two humidity sensors that, we hope, will allow to improve the SMOS products acquired in Arctic regions.
Additional news on satellite activities in the region of Igarka are coming, namely about the DOC monitoring in the Yenisei.
Allez les bleus 😉
Today was the first sample collected by boat of the 2016 mission.
We had some trouble to access the river bank, because of deep remains of snow we got the car caught, but we finally did it with a second car!
To get in the sampling zone we had to cross slowly deriving icebergs.
The water is now full of color, fDOM values have almost doubled since the last sample 4 days ago.
Navigation is already quite dynamic on the Yenisey, with commercial boats unloading goods for Igarka shops and huge barges carrying containers and materials crossing even northern.
First boat arrived yesterday!
People are unloading goods going back and forth with hovercraft.
The channel of the Yenisey is clearing progressively, there are still icebergs deriving and « ice jam » may occur again when the remaining ice from upstream islands and branches will break. Safe sampling need to wait a little as moving icebergs might be several times the size of our boat.
Spring break is late this year in Igarka.
11 and 13 days later than 2014 and 2015 ice break respectively.
For the last year of intensive sampling, the Yenisei choose this very particular date to wake up…
Second sampling with the hovercraft today.
Cracks are multiplying and getting wider, ice surface has patchy brown colors and is getting thiner while the water level is rising faster and faster.
Ice blocks have started to climb on the river bank in some places and first compression crests are growing little by little here and there.
Yesterday was the last snowmobile sampling of the mission.
Water is rising more and more and we have heard that first
ice cracks appeared downstream Igarka.
We visited Gravika river this morning, the water is already colorful even if a cap of ice remains on most of the chanel.
Hovercraft sampling is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, let’s go catch the spring flood!
Yesterday we sampled with the hovercraft, crossing cracks and slowly moving ice, the Yensisey is awaking!
We are still sampling on the ice but yesterday the snowmobile and the trail were surfing!
In the sampling zone there is a thin layer of ice covering about 40 cm of melted snow on top of a thick ice layer of about 80 cm.
Seagull are arrived which is, according to locals, a sign that the ice break is coming.
Fishermen have brought back their cabines on the earth and are now fishing close to the river bank.
fDOM values are around the levels of the days just before the ice break of the previous years.
The water is now rising quite steadily (our landmark, a old stranded boat is disappearing).
We are sampling only every two days because we are running out of sampling bottles and are waiting for a precise date of delivery of the freight sent from France.
Sending freight is tricky in spring because the only way to do it is by plane and cargo is booked mainly for fresh food (fruits and vegetables).
Indeed the winter road closed 1 month ago and the first boat is expected by the end of may…