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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dehydration 101

I have never been this dehydrated in my life! I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think is that I can't have my usual cup of morning coffee. I turn my head to the side when I walk by the water fountain. I'm thirsty all the time... But I am TERRIFIED of having to go to the bathroom in the field!!! Did I mention how cold it is here? Or how many layers I wear daily??? There are so many details in field work that you have no control over... The weather. The wind chill. The site itself... Check out the video I made prior to my trip - a trial run of all of my layers. This is what I go through twice each day!



video

Today we went to two sites again, one before lunch and one after. The morning one was a peat polygonal. We dug one snow pit in the wedge between the peat. The snow there is deep with an ice core underneath. Look up peat polygonals online and find out what will happen to them as the climate continues to heat up. What will happen to the peat and what will that then do to the climate? (Part A of today's challenge)

We then did two snow pits on top of the peat itself, on either side of the wedge. On the peaks the snow was only about 6 cm deep! Actually the shallow pits are more difficult than the deeper ones! It is a challenge to measure the density and hardness of the layers when they are so thin.

After lunch we went to a wooded area. My group's first sample site was between several trees. One person started digging and two of us started coring. The core sampler is 150 cm tall, which is about 5 feet. When I pushed it into the snow I almost did a face plant! It went down 137 cm! You can imagine how long it took us to dig to the bottom of our pit? We actually had to dig steps into the snow because other wise we couldn't get back out. And then we had to take temperature readings every 5 cm! Wow...it was a little different than our morning site!

Oh, that reminds me of one of your questions! One of you asked why we take so many core samples. In science, the more samples you have, the better your results. You will be able to see trends more clearly, AND you will be able to see mistakes, or outliers, more easily. If you have 100 samples and one of them is totally out of range of the others, you can be sure it was a mistake. (Maybe some untrained volunteer did not know how to use the tool.) If you have only five samples and one is really different, you may think that it is a normal occurrence. Think of that when you are doing your field research! The more times you go to your site to collect data, the easier it will be for you to make conclusions when you analyze your results! See how I look out for you? :)

Part B of your blog challenge for today is to create a hypothesis about snow layers. In one of our pits, the layer closest to the ground was not very dense, with lots of air in between the layers. It was about 10 cm thick. Above that was a more dense layer with smaller snowflakes, about 14 cm thick. Above that was a thin layer of very dense, almost ice-like, snow...maybe 1 cm thick. It was topped with 1 cm of light fluffy snow. Create a hypothesis about WHY the layers had different densities. What could have been happening as the snow came down, as time went by, etc. Remember, the bottom snow is the oldest. :) Create a diagram labelling each layer, with your explanation next to it to turn in to Ms. Duffy. Respond to me with bullets explaining your layers, with the bottom as Layer 1, working your way up to Layer 4. This challenge is due on Friday. Talk to you tomorrow! Please come with some good questions for me!!! :)

23 Comments:

At February 18, 2009 at 9:36 PM , Anonymous 2-Ryan RIggs said...

If the peat were heated up, then it would release all of its stored carbon into the atmosphere, vastly increasing the rate of which global warming is occuring. This can lead to more wildfires, and also insect outbreaks.

 
At February 18, 2009 at 10:41 PM , Anonymous 4 - Jim Schade said...

Haha you must be sweating all the time from all those layers. You look like you are having a blast, can't wait to talk to you tomorrow.

Part A:
The peat will be exposed to the air and decompose. I spent an hour trying to find info on this and can't find anything that will tell me the effects of the peat polygonals melting.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 2:43 PM , Anonymous 1- Kelli Burbridge said...

layer 1: The first layer is not very dense, with lots of air in between the layers. It was about 10 cm thick. That layer is less dense because maybe the air was cleaner making a more pure that todays snow is.
Layer 2: The second layer is a more dense layer with smaller snowflakes, about 14 cm thick. That layer is a more denser layer because maybe the snow is being more packed than the other layers.
Layer 3: The third layer is a thin layer of very dense, almost ice-like, snow about 1 cm thick. This layer is most dense because maybe it is very packed down by other people walking on it and maybe that snow was more like hail therefore making it more like ice.
Layer 4: The fourth layer is 1 cm of light fluffy snow. It is the lightest layer because it is the newest layer of snow and most fresh.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 6:27 PM , Anonymous 5- Brina Carrier said...

Q: Part B of your blog challenge for today is to create a hypothesis about snow layers. In one of our pits, the layer closest to the ground was not very dense, with lots of air in between the layers. It was about 10 cm thick. Above that was a more dense layer with smaller snowflakes, about 14 cm thick. Above that was a thin layer of very dense, almost ice-like, snow...maybe 1 cm thick. It was topped with 1 cm of light fluffy snow. Create a hypothesis about WHY the layers had different densities. What could have been happening as the snow came down, as time went by, etc. Remember, the bottom snow is the oldest. :) Create a diagram labeling each layer, with your explanation next to it to turn in to Ms. Duffy. Respond to me with bullets explaining your layers, with the bottom as Layer 1, working your way up to Layer 4. This challenge is due on Friday.

A:

-Layer one (oldest)-
this layer was probably the coldest during that time period and had a moderate to long duration of snowfall.

-Layer two-
this layer was probably warmer during that time period because of all of the melted denser snow. It probably had a VERY long duration of snowfall.

-Layer three-
this layer had most likely occurred during a very warm time period, and had very little amount of snowfall.

-Layer four(newest)-
this layer is the most recent, so it has the freshest, and the fluffiest layer of snow.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM , Anonymous 4-sarahanderson said...

Bottom layer- is dense and has a lot of air inbetween because as it fell it varied in size.
Next layer- is thick and has small snowflakes because it was starting to take one shape.
Middle layer- is thick and ice like because the snow was falling heavily and was wet causing it to form together.
Top layer-is light and fluffy because it has recently fallen and could be less dense due to climate change?

 
At February 19, 2009 at 8:26 PM , Anonymous 2-TREY SENATE said...

DEHYDRATION 101

. PEAT P0LYGONALS> A REALATIVELY FLAT SURFACE WITH POLYGONAL PATTERN TRENCHES DEVELOPED OVER ICE WEDGES.
. IF THE CLIMATE CONTINUES TO HEAT UP, THE PEAT PLLYGONALS WILL BECOME FLOODED. THEN THE PEAT WILL ROT, AND COULD TURN INTO A SEWER LAGOON THAT COULD GIVE OFF GREEN HOUSE GASES.

. LAYER #1 IS THE OLDEST LAYER THAT YOU DUG TO. I THINK WHEN THIS LAYER OF SNOW FELL, THE AIR WAS COLDER AND DRYER THAN IT WAS IN THE UPPER LAYERS.
. LAYER #2 WAS A MORE DENSE LAYER WITH SMALLER SNOWFLAKES, PROBABLY BECAUSE THE AIR TEMPATURE STAYED WARMER FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME.
. LAYER #3 WAS A THIN AND VERY DENSE LAYER MAYBE BECAUSE THE SUN HAD WARMED THE SNOW SO IT GOT LOOSE, AND THEN WHEN THE AIR GOT COLDER IT BEGAN TO FREEZE AGAIN.
. LAYER #4 I THINK THE FOURTH LAYER IS LIGHT FLUFFY SNOW BECAUSE IT IS THE NEWEST LAYER AND THE WIND HAS BLOWN IT AROUND ON TOP OF THE MORE DENSE LAYERS. MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE NOTHING IS ON TOP OF IT YET TO PACK IT DOWN.

.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous 3- Courtney Howe said...

Hypothesis: The deeper layers are going to be more dense because of the surface layers that are on top of the other layers , pushing down creating a more compact sample.

Layer 1 (Bottom Layer): Most compacted density, no space between snow molecules.

Layer 2 (Second to last Layer):Space between snow molecules starts to build up, creating a less dense layer, yet still compacted.

Layer 3: This layer acts like a cushion towards the bottom layers as there are more snow molecules, yet more water molecules as well.

Layer 4: The top layer is the least dense because it recieves all of the new snow molecules and is affected by the weather surrounding the area.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 9:27 PM , Anonymous 1-Maseah Rasta said...

Part A
As the climate continues to increase the peat will begin to melt. While it does it will release billion tons of Methane gas into the atmosphere, stimulating Global Warming, thus causing dramatic climate changes.

Part B
-Layer 4: 1cm thick of fluffy snow.
Hypothesis: The snow that falls from the sky makes up this layer.

-Layer 3: 1 cm thick of ice.
Hypothesis: The snow from layer 4 eventually freezes.

-Layer 2: 14 cm thick of dense snow.
Hypothesis: The ice from layer 3 melts due to the pressure of the two top layers that create heat.

Layer 1: 10 cm thick of snow with small pocket air holes.
Hypothesis: The snow becomes warmer due to the pressure of all three top layers that creat heat.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous 4- allie roy said...

part a
1) peat polygonals form underneath permafrost. Thats all I could find on the internet. they do begin to start to melt. What will happen to the peat is they will begin to melt and then never exist from climate change. Our climate will decline more and more.

Part B
1) I hypothesize the snow is different every layer because of differenciating weather when the snow is falling, maybe the snow is less thick or theres more wind blowing?

diagram:
4) top layer always thinnest because it hasnt started to really freeze
3) weather was less windy snowy maybe
2) added together wih bottom layer, more snow
1)snow froze faster creating more thick layers.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous 5-Katie Murray said...

Layer 1: not very dense because it has air bubbles, and it has been there the longest out of all the layers.
Layer 2: More dense than layer one because it has less air bubbles/smaller snowflakes.
Layer 3: Most dense out of all the layers because it is pretty new, and it has more moisture than the rest of the layers.
Layer 4: The light and fluffy snow make this layer not as dense as the rest because it has been there the least amount of time and hasn't had enough time to be exposed to different climates.

-Each layer has different densities because of time and because of the different climates they have all been exposed to.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 9:57 PM , Anonymous 4- Jennika Guerrero said...

Part A
Peat is the partially carbonized vegetable matter, usually mosses, found in the bogs and used as fertilizer and fuel(when dired). Polygonals are closed plane figures bounded by three or more line segments.
The levels of oxgen and the acidic exvironment in bogs prevent the degragation of peat. If the climate continues to heat up it will mess up the peat process not degragting properly.
Part B
layer 1- I believe the bottom oldest layer isnt dense because at that time period the snow was more wet and over time as more snow began to fall it starts to melt.
Layer 2 is a little dense because maybe it was a different type of snow fall and we see that as more and more snow falls those layers become more dense.
Layer 3 is even more dense because it was more recent and i think the climate change is a factor as well.
Layer 4 is the fesh snow that hasnt yet been covered by another snow fall, once more snow is added i think that this layer will be dense as well.
I think the different layers involve the different types of snow and the change in the climate.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 10:09 PM , Anonymous 3-cgWERT said...

The peat polygonal will melt as the climate warms. this will allow the peat to melt releasing Co2 in the atmosphere.


Layer 1: Could of been form during the mid winter, when its the coldest. Didn't refreeze.

Layer 2: Happen during the next blizzard.Didn't refreeze.

Layer 3: Happen late winter or early spring melted and refroze

Layer4: New Snow

 
At February 19, 2009 at 10:11 PM , Anonymous 1-Dylan Davison said...

As the climate begins to warm, the peat will not form as well, which hold a large amount of the tundras carbon. This will cause more carbon to be released into the enviroment.

1- a very cold storm dropped the layer creating larger snowflakes with more air inbetween them
2-a warmer storm dropped this providing wetter, denser snow.
3- a warm period mettled the snow creating ice and winds hardened this layer
4- light snow flurries made this layer

 
At February 19, 2009 at 10:16 PM , Anonymous 5-Tricia Rice said...

Blog Challenge "dehydration 101"

First of all I want to say that the video makes me think of what I take for granted. I couldn't imagine putting on so many clothes just to walk outside!! Anyway here is my answer:

My hypothesis is that the first layer is very thick because it's the oldest and piled with other layers. It doesn't get to see the sun and therefore is trapped under the layers.

The second layer is a little thicker because it was snow that fell over the first layer and might have taken some of the first layers snow and combined with it.

The third layer is newer so it hasn't become old enough to be very thick, so it's not thick at all.

The top layer is fresh snowfall that covers all the layers.

That is my hypothesis. :) I can't wait to here about more of your adventures! That is brave and so amazing what you are doing!!

Take care!
Tricia :)

 
At February 19, 2009 at 10:33 PM , Anonymous 3-Aaron Jones said...

Part A - As the climate heats up, water from melting snow goes into the cracks of the peat. It refeezes and starts the peat process all over again. When the thickening ice wedges take up more space, the soil is pushed aside forming the peat polygonals.

Part B - Snow layers have different densities because the layers form at different times.
*Layer 1 - is the oldest snow. It weighs the most because it has melted and hardened again.
*Layer 2- a little less weight, but still heavy because its packed down from the top 2 layers.
*Layer 3- would be lighter again. It might still be somewhat soft but may have a icy top from sleet before the latest snow.
*Layer 4- would be the lightest because it is fresh and powdery.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 11:14 PM , Anonymous 4-Morgan Sears said...

Part B:

I think each layer is different due to the climate during each particular period. Maybe in the first layer, it was the coldest year; therefore, there was no blazing sun melting the ground, so it just is snow fall that accumulated, allowing air to pass through. Where as in layer 2, it might have been a hotter year, and because it was hot during the day, the top part of the snow could have melted, leaving it to freeze during the night, leaving no room for air. Layer 3 could have been created with a different texture because the world is hotter today. It is still a recent layer because it is only about 1cm thick. I think layer 4 was caused by a light snow fall, which allows the snow to loosely gather overnight, creating the layer.

 
At February 19, 2009 at 11:21 PM , Anonymous 3 - McKenzie Campagna said...

WOW Ms. Stafne!!! I'd never IMAGINE I'd be able to see my own teacher dress up in about 3 minutes worth of layers, not to mention look like a bank robber at one point with the black mask... Anyways...here is my answer.

Part A
Polygonal Peat Plateaus -
Warmer weather erodes the sides of the raised polygonal mounds, which results in a degraded appearance.

 
At February 20, 2009 at 7:31 AM , Anonymous Joseph_04 said...

peat polygonals heat up and and slowly start to melt as vegetation starts growing in them and through them. my hypothesis of snow layers would be, the first layer would be thinnest and most likely just an icy layer with maybe a little but if snow on it, as the second layer would get thicker due to the increasing temperatures. the third layer would probably also be thicker but there would be many variables where you couldent determine exactly which would be thicker. but normally, they would get thicker or harder as they go due to density and temperature

 
At February 20, 2009 at 10:04 AM , Anonymous 3- Nick Mayer said...

A. ) A perennially frozen bog rising approximately 1 m above the surrounding
fen. The surface is relatively flat, scored by a polygonal pattern of trenches
that developed over ice wedges. The permafrost and ice wedges developed in peat
originally deposited in a nonpermafrost environment... With the world's weather
pattern showing signs of annual warming the peats of these amazing polygonal
peats will not form because they form with freezing conditions. the permafrost
and ice is what creates these peats.

 
At February 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM , Blogger monica said...

We went over how polygonals are a distinctive attribute of the Tundra and how they are formed in the permafrost by exposure to extreme weather (below -15C). The ground cracks & then is filled with meltwater (springtime)...continues cycle & those ice wedges grow wider (up to 50m in diameter). From afar they make a polygonal pattern.
Polygonals & climate change - warmer weather could cause them to disappear~the ice wedges would melt, perhaps becoming groundwater, or maybe pooling to form lagoons or lakes. The ice wedges could also melt completely and if it's warm enough the water could evaporate, leaving large deep cracks in the ground?
This will have a positive feedback in terms of climate change b/c ice has higher reflectivity (absorbs less heat) and re-directs that solar radiation back into our climate system where it could interact with other components such as the greenhouse gases. If it's warm enough, that ice melting may evaporate, adding more greenhouse gases to atms as well.
The organic matter in the peat, as it dries up, could also release some carbon into the atmosphere as well !

Snow layers & density ~ we discussed variables that will effect snow density such as the clouds that formed them,ice crystal shape, melting and re-freezing, gravity and settling...and examples of how/why each layer was more/less dense. ie)layer 3 only 1cm deep, but very dense..before layer 4 fell, layer 3 was top layer and could started to melt due to direct solar radiation or a time period of warmer weather. This layer refroze (liquid back to solid = less spaces between crystals or snow particles)= more dense
YaY =)
We watched your video in class as well, so that everyone could see it and I told them to think about prep. for experiments + how all those layers might affect your ability to do work in the field.

 
At February 20, 2009 at 5:31 PM , Anonymous mom said...

How is it at the edge of the world? Are you glad to know the world isn't flat?

Just remember, wherever you are, you are loved.

xoxo mom

 
At February 21, 2009 at 1:14 PM , Anonymous 3 - Kellie Rieger said...

.Layer 1-alot of bug air bubbles.
.Layer 2 alot of small air bubbles close together.
.Layer 3 Snow flaks crystals.
.Layer 4 Fluffy new snow.

 
At February 22, 2009 at 3:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

period 5- Amy Gutierrez
1. A Polygonal Peat is a rise about one meter above a surrounding fen or adjoining upland. As the climate heats up, the nutrients in the polygonal peats will decrease.
2. If the global temperature increases, the layering of the snow will have more air bubbles making it more dense but also, easier to melt.

 

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