Water at F6

It may not look like much, but it is a beginning.  Warm weather could bring much higher flows.

Flow in Von Guerard Creek.  My tent on the left, gauge box in the middle distance.  It may not look like much, but this is a beginning.  Cold weather today has kept flows low (they peaked last night around 11 p.m., when it was warmer), but sustained warm weather could bring much higher flows.  The rocks just beyond my tent are the location of the old gauge, which has been flooded by the rising waters of Lake Fryxell.

The F6 camp takes its name from the F6 Gauge on Von Guerard Creek.  The creek enters Lake Fryxell right behind my tent, a few steps from the hut.  Yesterday morning at about 10 a.m. we noticed flow in Von Guerard Creek.  We immediately took water quality measurements, water quality samples and flow measurements, as nature of the first “flush” of water is of scientific interest.  Later, I dug back into the data stored by the datalogger at the gauge and figured out that the flow had reached the gauge at between 8:00 and 8:15 that morning, while we were having coffee and eating breakfast.

Flow in Von Guerard Creek has both scientific and practical implications.  Once the stream has flowed for a while its water quality will improve, as it leaches salts out of the soils.  Then we will be able to collect water from the stream.  This is just in the nick of time, because the ice on the edge of Lake Fryxell is melting to form a “moat” and soon it will be difficult for us to get access to good quality ice from the Canada Glacier.  Without flow in Von Guerard Creek we would have to drink saline lake moat water.

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