Permafrost cores analysis in the lab (Michel Paquette)

February 1, 2017 in post by Davesne.G

While summers are for field work and data and sample collection, winters in the Geocryolab are spent analyzing those in the lab and in the offices. A widespread method used by lab members is the cryostratigraphic analysis, which describes and quantifies the pattern of soil and ice structures in permafrost. It informs on the formation history of ice and permafrost, and is usually performed in the cold room at temperatures below 0°C to prevent the cores from thawing. Here Ashley Rudy (PhD) from Queen’s University’s Environmental Variability and Extremes Laboratory (EVEX) is cleaning the cores by removing the mud layer created during coring operations, while Michel Paquette (PhD candidate) from Geocryolab is describing them and taking pictures. The cores are from the Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory (CBAWO) on Melville Island, in the Western Arctic. They will then be thawed to measure ice content, and the water from the cores will be used for geochemistry and isotopic analyses.