We went on a short field trip from Fairbanks to Healy and Talkeetna to collect methane gas from lakes. Lake ice is slushy and rotten, but at places where there are high methane seeps, the methane ebullition prevents the ice from forming and there are holes. We looked for these holes, placed methane traps and came back to collect the gas and retrieve traps.
I first went to Eight Mile lake two years ago, with the Ben & Jerry’s climate change college crew. I remember I was amazed, and this area has a special meaning to me. I was impressed by Katey and her student, Laura, and I work with both of them today. It felt great to come back as a scientist, doing field work. I went there with Louise, who is working in Katey Walter’s lab too
Eight Mile lake, near Healy, two days ago
In 2008, same weather!
Eight Mile lake, two years ago
Lou observing the patterns in the ice on Eight Mile lake
The mouth of a ‘”spider hole”, a feature created when the weight of the snow on the ice causes the lake water to overflow (come up and flood the lake ice), using weak points, such as methane seeps. On the right, a bubble trap in place on a spider hole
Collecting methane from a bubble trap on Benka Lake, by Talkeetna
An improvised hike on the way back to Fairbanks, in Bison Gulch.
Just another evening sky in Fairbanks, after one of those rare rainy days