The field site I work at has several soil pits that were dug 10 meters into the ground in a forest control plot. It is a crazy ridiculous resource for a soil and ecosystem nerd like myself. In fact, I’ve been spending some of my down time working on a little side project looking at how nitrogen flows downward in the system. Most of my sampling measures losses of nitrogen up, into the atmosphere, but nitrogen also sloshes around in soil water and then flows into a system’s groundwater.
Anyways, to check out how the soil profile effects N, if at all, we’re comparing information about nitrogen from near the top of the pits to near the bottom of the pits. All of which is just a set up to post photographs of Sandro and Santarem setting up Sandro to safely rappel 30 feet into soil land. So cool!
As you can see, there’s a bunch of scaffolding/ladders that are keeping the pit stable and safe and letting technicians and researchers navigate it safely. But folks also have to go in with climbing gear on, just in case. And I got the veto on going down, probably because I’m a weakling. So don’t worry, mom! :)
Final conclusion: this job rocks.