Monday, June 22, 2009

Hi All,

Hope that all is well. I guess I am a little behind the curve, so I better make this a good one!!

I have been rather busy this last week or so. The first part of last week was very relaxing. Both Monday and Tuesday were short days. There wasn't much to do. We have been busy cleaning the lab as I mentioned before. Last week involved more titrations than I ever want to do again in my life. I ran 60+ alkalinity titrations on Thursday and Friday (however my average standard deviations (n=3) were less than 0.5ppm calcite, Barry would be proud with all those stats!). What fun. It is actually a really cool data set. We have a data logger set up at a spring and whenever the stage changes by so much it triggers the automatic samplers and they collect water every half hour. We plotted the hydrograph of the event and it looks really interesting. Normally it would look like a right skewed Gaussian curve (or close to it), but this one does not. This one has the rapid climb, and a slow decrease followed by another increase, that then is steady. It is kinda neat; they have never recorded that in a spring. They do not think that the second jump is caused by a new rain event, since the precipitation recorded did not see anything. We think that is might be caused by a sinking stream, then providing new and continuous flow to the system. We are going to trace the sinking stream in a few weeks to see if that is a possibility.

On Saturday we had a REU wide field trip. We went up to the north shore of Lake Superior to look at the hard rock geology there. That was pretty fun. We got to see all of the different basalts, gabbros, ryolites, and granites. It was pretty neat. We also went to see Gooseberry Falls, basically a water fall that goes over a basalt feature. Sunday I went back out to SE MN to look at some more karst stuff. We were looking for new sinkholes, and springs. We were successful. We found several, so they are now on the official state map. Yippie!

On Monday I went out to the field again just about 30 miles south of the Twin Cities to an old Ammunition Manufacturing Plant from WWII. We put data loggers into a bunch of the wells there. Apparently there is a huge amount of gravel under that area (10's of billions of dollars, so I'm told), so needless to say it is going to be collected soon. We put the loggers down in so we know some basics about the water table before it gets disturbed. Basically background information.

Tomorrow I am going out in the field back to SE MN. We are going to do a little caving, to get some in cave channel discharge measurements. We are also going to do some spring discharge measurements. We are going to replace a few probes, and finally collect the data off of some loggers and collect the automatic water samples. Oh boy. That will be a very long day. I anticipate another 17hr day, like both Saturday and Sunday were. I'm getting pooped!!!

I'm starting to get use to using DOS, the floralspectrophotmeter runs on a DOS system. I'm also getting decent at fitting Gaussian curves to the readouts using PeakFit. Fun fun.

Yesterday I baked a whole bunch of rhubarb crisp, and made some home made whipped cream to go with it. yum. I think everyone appreciated it. Basically all 12 of us hung out last nite watching me bake, and then they all ate it up. Pretty sweet deal. The lot of us all seem to be getting along very well. We all went to a bar the end of last week to watch the hockey game (only two people actually cared, the rest of us just had a good time!). Basically I'm working with a bunch of pretty cool people.

I'm going to attach a few pictures from Saturday's trip up to see the Duluth Complex.

Not too much else going on here. Trying to keep out of trouble which is pretty easy considering I'm almost always working.

Hope that all is going well for all off you.



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