Arctic Research Group 2017
Location: Bockfjorden region of North Spitsbergen; Lat & Long: 79.30°N, 13.40°E
Members: Ian Frearson (leader), George Haddon Winter, Andrew Hodson, Aga Nowak.
ARG members are safely back from their trip following a most unusual and frustrating yet somehow strangely rewarding experience in Svalbard. Read more below.
Objectives: A multi-disciplinary expedition to the Bockfjorden region of North Spitsbergen to gather information on the area round the most northerly warm springs on land in the world. Work will include observations of vascular plant species in areas of influence and remote from the springs, seeking geological specimens of primitive fish fossils, meteorite recovery and looking for colonisation of recently exposed ground generated through ice retreat.
Dates: 27 June to 26 July 2017
Supported by: Gino Watkins Memorial Fund.
ARG News from Svalbard
7 July: Due to the initial presence of really bad pack ice to the North West of Spitsbergen the planned route out to Bockfjord on Norsk Polarinstitutt's research vessel RV Lance was directionally changed to an anticlockwise one. This mean we had to endure the hardships of eight days of nothing on which to live but food and drink whilst taking in the whole of the Archipelago, including stops in some of our favourite and many new places. One of these was the privilege of a visit to the meteorological station on Hopen before travelling back up the East coast to Agardbukta, through the straight between Edjoya & Barentsoya, into the ice ridden Hinlopen Stret and on to visit Wahlenbergfjorden, Murchison, up past Moffen and beyond the 80th parallel then into Woodfjord and our objective Bockfjord. Once again more than expected and increasing ice allowed us just a short three hour window to go ashore and take some samples before having to be whisked away. this was not only a tricky, but lengthy job, requiring two boats since the rib was not powerful enough to push through the increasing pack to reach us so the jet boat was substituted. And a return to Longyearbyen with virtually nothing to show.
(click to see the bigger picture)