Muostakh Island is a slender crescent of land in the Laptev Sea with ice-rich Yedoma permafrost. This image is taken from the protected west side of the island. Waves are evident on the far side of the island, where some of the arctic's highest rates of coastal erosion have been observed. The mounds along the coast are the remains of ice wedge polygons. in addition to being eroded, the surface of the island is sinking as the ice beneath the surface thaws.
The sun has set over Muostakh Island in the central Laptev Sea. A driftwood fire on the beach provides warmth at the end of the summer as we ready to return to civilization.
Since permafrost begins to degrade as soon as it is submerged, for example as the coastline retreats, we often work close to the coast.
Shallow coastal waters require small boats. Here we use a rubber boat equipped with an outboard moter to make geophysical measurements of the sediment below the sea floor.
Wood stoves warm the geologist tents in which we live and partly work.
This flat part of Muostakh Island in the central Laptev Sea is probably the bed of an old lake that formed when ice in the permafrost melted and created a depresion.
A polar bear has left us a sign of its presence on the beach at Cape Mamontov Klyk in the western Laptev Sea. Encounters with wildlife are part of daily life and one of the privileges of working in this setting.