Erin has been hard at work, preparing “fake” permafrost cores for students to handle during the new permafrost course to begin in January 2017. The quest for appreciable ice lenses is finally bearing fruit, as Palmarolle clay from the Abitibi Clay
Belt (thanks to Etienne Perrault for shipping a bucket of it our way!) has yielded the best results so far. PVC pipes are filled with clay and are placed over a thick layer of wet sand in our freezer. Everything is carefully insulated to insure that frost penetration occurs from the top down, et… voilà!

Permafrost students of 2017, prepare to assess thaw subsidence potential…