Wednesday, February 3, 2010

VAPoR field testing - Day 6

It was Danny's turn yesterday night to check on the equipment, so I finally got my 8 hours of sleep again. Did not notice anything shaking around me, so either I slept really well, or the volcano was quiet again. Jorge and I took the high route into the side, so instead of Mauna Loa I "woke up" with Kohala this morning.

Goodmorning Kohala

The setup was nice and warm and happily pumping so time to test out the RGA and get back to work. The new control unit worked right away, which was a great relief so time to get data.

It works!

First sample of the day.

The first sample we ran was a depth sample from the same site we analyzed a surface sample from on the first day. After that we analyzed the gas we collected yesterday. This gave clear nice results right away (very surprisingly SO2 and H2S - the rotten egg smell, at least our noses didn't lie).

Analyzing Sulphur Bank sample

After this we ran two more samples from the site were Danny sampled on the second day. On surface and one 2-m deep sample. Data are being analyzed right now, hopefully we see some nice differences.

An average heating run takes about 40 minutes (20 °C/min to 800 °C). The cool down and sample exchange time another 1.5 hour. So per day we can run 3-4 samples. During the heating we're constantly monitoring oven temperature, voltage and current, as well as the pressure in the system. When the new sample is inserted we have to pump the system down, which gives us some time to have lunch, look around at other tests, or dust off our equipment. I'm not sure how long we're going to maintain that last habit though, since it really doesn't make a difference. It's so windy and dusty that we have dust devils even in the tent (I should have brought my other experiment along).

The sample prep table after 6 days...

Dust (about half an hour after we wiped it clean for sample prep)

Hiked back "home" with Lutz over the high road again.

Around 8 PM Honeybees Kris and Jack and I went back to the site to refill my generator. After we were done we turned off the carlights and had the most beautiful view of the night sky and the Milky Way I've ever had. Everything was dark except for the stars. Very very very beautiful.

Now finishing up the data analysis and then off to bed.

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