Expedition reports from the Russian Lena Delta

22.07.2010

The KlimaCampus research team of Junior Professor Lars Kutzbach set off in mid July for the Russian Lena Delta. Today the first weekly expedition report arrived:

Dear Readers,

After almost one year we can take up our weekly reports on the work in the Lena Delta again. After our departure on Monday and a day´s stay in Moscow, we reached Tiksi on Wednesday morning. Thursday night our equipment arrived. Eight tons had to be unloaded and prepared for operation during the various legs of the expedition. At around seven the next morning we could catch a little rest but had to get up soon after to load the helicopter, which brought us to our Island Samoylov in the central Lena Delta without any problems.
Since then we have been busier than any time in the past ten months. After leaving the heat wave in Germany, the temperatures over  30 °C in Moscow were not much of a change. We were hoping for the cool of Tiksi, but it was over  25 °C there and the "cooling" wind only blew sand and dust through the air. After the hard work on Samoylov, the sauna - cordially prepared by the station head there for us - was refreshing. But whoever thinks that they can count on freezing temperatures north of the Polar Circle is mistaken. For this week, daily temperatures of over 20 °C are predicted, and complaints about the heat surpass those about the mosquitoes. An occasional swim in the Lena - with 21.8 °C warmer than has ever been measured - brings a little relief.

First measurements of the thawing depth revealed that in this year the permafrost - with a thawing depth of 41.5 cm - has thawed 9 cm deeper than last year at this time.

Tomorrow, Waldemar, who is still in Tiksi clarifying logistics, will complete our team for the first leg.

Best regards from Samoylov!


Find more reports here.