Friday, May 28, 2010

Tobredalen, Svalbard

After the slush flows we went back to the tent-tipi to discuss what we'd seen and try to draw some conclusions regarding the initiation of slush flows. One hypothesis that was put forward suggested that the pool that had burst its banks had acted as a trigger. This then lead to the question of why there was a pool there in the first place, when the surrounding area was still fully frozen. We knew that there were some hot springs in this part of Svalbard so, motivated by thoughts of washing in pools of steaming clean water, we set to work searching for Tobredalens first spa. Towards the end of our time in Tobredalen we did find a mound with a large fissure through the middle. The smell was very distinctive, and apparently (according to Jamie and Steve, our amateur geologists) there were several features characteristic of fresh water springs. Unfortunately, our time ran out but hopefully next years expedition will be able to investigate further, and may even be able to enjoy the hot spring baths were dreamt about! This photo shows the entrance to the fissure.

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