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December 20, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 18

Today was pretty windy, and that wind bites hard. Holding this boom up to the tower and then attaching it with a bunch of U-bolts. This requires nimble and dexterous hands, my thin silk glove liners. I could get one or two nuts screwed on and then had to stuff my hand back into my glove to get it a bit warmer.

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December 19, 2019

Spreading volcano follow-up: Cross sections showing normal faults and thrust faults

Geo Models: The GIF shows the results of about 15 minutes of deformation with fresh sealant straight out of the tube. The summit of the cone collapses into a graben, and the flanks of the cone spread outward, creating compression that generates thrust faults and folds.

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Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 17

Every day is packed full of hard work and many activities, but sometimes there are very busy days. Like today. Here is a day in the life out here…

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December 18, 2019

The demise of Scotch Cap lighthouse

The earthquake was giant, at least magnitude 8.1. The tsunami that resulted killed 159 people in Hawaii, drowned a swimmer in Santa Cruz, banged up fishing boats in Chile and wrecked a hut on Antarctica. The curve of the Aleutians protected much of Alaska, but the five men at Scotch Cap had no chance.

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Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 16

Once again the ice dynamics have become active. High winds from the south have been pushing against our floe, and across the major shear zone that extended across the front of the ship. We’ve seen a little bit of activity there in the last days, but not much. But now things have really come together, jagged pieces of ice getting pushed 3-4 meters up into the air, likely extending 20m or more down below the surface.

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December 17, 2019

Postcards from a frozen icebreaker – Part 15

There are some interesting sounds out here. The wind howling, you can even hear the snow blowing along the surface with little tinkles. The pops of a new crack forming. Water lapping up against the side of an open lead. But today were some great sounds…

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December 13, 2019

Redoubt’s big impact 30 years ago

On December 15, 1989, a pilot who had flown a 747 passenger jet all the way from Amsterdam was looking forward to landing in Anchorage. There, he would take a short break before continuing to Tokyo.

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December 12, 2019

From Unalakleet to San Francisco

By Ned Rozell SAN FRANCISCO — “This picture is what we’re dreaming of today,” Mellisa Johnson said to reporters sitting in a packed press conference room at the Moscone Center, during the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Johnson was at a podium, pointing to a slide of western Alaska. It showed white sea ice coating the entire Bering Sea and hugging the coast of Alaska, from Wales all …

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December 4, 2019

There are tension gashes in my yogurt (but I ate it anyway)

As a student, I thought the gash patterns were great, but I always struggled to understand their relationship to shear zone orientation in the context of the stress field…This is where the yogurt comes into play. Some very nice en echelon tension gash sets appeared in my Greek yogurt a few weeks ago when I squeezed the plastic container.

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November 27, 2019

Plastic discs keep returning home

In August, UAF scientist Ben Jones was hiking near Drew Point on the northern coast of Alaska. He noticed pilot Jim Webster walking toward him, while flicking a little yellow Frisbee his way.
That yellow plastic disc, about 7 inches round, had a message stamped on it: If the finder returned it to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, he or she would receive a $1 reward.

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