I stood at the edge of the river in awe. The river had swallowed half of my study site, leaving niviarsiaq flowers and my temperature sensor poking through ice-cold rapids.
There must have been a spectacular glacier calving event to cause the river to violently spill over its banks [Edit: The hypothesis around the station is that an ice dam broke.] Waterfalls almost doubled in width, the river found new courses to handle the large volume of water, and chunks of ice were carried downstream.
I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. This is crazy cool, I thought, but what about my research?!
Study Site #1
We returned the next day to survey the aftermath. Things looked like they were almost back to normal.
The niviarsiaq flowers were extremely resilient.
Study Site #2
The day the river went rogue, we had to hike to our study site at seahorse lake because the road was flooded.
Study Site #3
We visited a third site the day after the flood. Signs of the surge were abundant.
Had I not been there the day the river went rogue, I would not be able to grasp the extent and power of the flood. Fortunately, niviarsiaq, aka dwarf river beauty, is presumably adapted to such disturbances despite its delicate appearance. So, my research continues, and I am left with a much deeper respect for the ice-fed river.