Supraglacial Rock Avalanches
As part of William Smith’s PhD, the team travelled to Alaska in order to investigate further how meltwater created during debris deposition on to glaciers effects the glacier’s biogeochemistry. The expedition was looking to gather data from fresh debris areas before undertaking laboratory analysis back in the UK. They were dropped initially on to the Brady Icefield on account of the better snow conditions for the plane, and proceeded to gather samples from the entire width of the icefield. Despite having a short 10 day window in which to operate, the expedition was blessed with good weather for 5 of those days which gave them a chance to gather all the data needed; 20 sediment samples, 2 water samples, 12 snow samples and 10 clasts. Laboratory analysis is due to take place in the first quarter 0f 2019. They noted further that relatively little is understood about the Brady icefield and that investigation in to the changeable nature of the snowpack could prove to be an invaluable piece of research, as well as melt rate research to quantify mass balance and discharge estimates.