Canadian Archepelago Throughflow Study
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April 13, 2005
by Andreas Muenchow

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Still Here
When asked about the dangers of this expedition last week, I answered that "...The two most dangerous aspects will be the wind and the wind..."

speed contours

This proved very true today when four of our five tents were blown away in gale-force winds as they were being set up off Greenland. There is very little that seven people subject to 70+ knot winds (35 m/s) can do except to protect themselves from the elements. One tent is standing and that's where everyone out in the field camp will be tonight. The last Helen and I heard in a phone call about three hours ago was that everyone is safe and well and warm. Nevertheless, a Twin Otter is on stand-by to help should an emergency occur. A forecast for the area provided by Roger Samelson at Oregon State predicts that the winds are slowing down fast during the night. The picture below shows a section of the wind speed with height above the surface to 2 km (~6000 feet) and ~100 km (~60 miles) across from Ellesmere Island to Greenland. The contours are wind speed in m/s with a jet centered both near the Greenland coast (60 km) and over Greenland (90 km) about 400 m above sealevel.

About 400 miles to the south in Resolute Bay, there was very little wind, sunny and pretty warm at about -10 F. Not knowing what was taking place off Greenland, Helen and I walked from the airport, near where we are staying, to the town of Resolute. It was a brisk 2 hour walk along the road, across tundrea, over an ice-covered bay, into town. It is almost impossible to notice the transition from snow-covered tundra to snow-covered sea ice were it not for tiny cracks in the ice. Small tidal currents and sea level oscillations cause these cracks, it's something I learnt only 2 days ago:

Arriving in town, we found a sign post telling us direction and distances to locations such as the North Pole (1086 miles), and Frederiction in southern Canada (1300 miles):