Science Blog: Zoé Forgereau: Day 18-26
I am Zoé Forgereau, a Master student from UiT, going to Svalbard for a fieldwork with the members of the PHOTA project, which include two researchers: Karley Campbell, Benjamin Lange and two other master students: Janina Osanen and Laura Martín. I will make you discover what it is like to go into the field as a student researcher through my own experience in the Svalbard Archipelago!

Day 18: 12.04: Fieldwork to Tempelfjorden: new itinerary

The members of the PHOTA project went back to Tempelfjorden to collect sea ice samples. Due to the high risk of avalanches, the team had to cross a glacier. The new part of the itinerary is shown in white in the map below.

On the way to the fjord, the team went inside the crack of a glacier!

Janina and Ben used an under hyperspectral imager (UHI) to get data on which wavelengths are transmitted through the ice for measuring sea ice algae. To do so, they placed the arm of the UHI underwater and connected it to a computer for fieldwork.

In the evening, we went back to Longyearbyen. There, we filtrate our samples, melted ice cores and Laura incubated some sea ice algae with a dye in order to estimate their growth rate.


Map

Glacier

Inside the glacier!

Picture taken by our guide: Eirik Hellerud.

Glacier in Tempelfjorden

Picture taken by our guide: Eirik Hellerud.

Picture taken by our guide: Eirik Hellerud.

Picture taken by our guide: Eirik Hellerud.

Picture taken by our guide: Eirik Hellerud.

An ice core.

Hole after coring.
Bottom ice algae (YouTube). Video taken by Laura Martín, who placed a Gopro under the sea ice so allowing us to see the bottom ice algae. We could effectively observe sea ice algae which were brown and therefore probably healthy.

Day 19: 13.04: Same labwork as the previous lab days

Day 20: 14.04: Fieldwork to Van Mijenfjorden

The members of the PHOTA project planned with the guide the itinerary to go to Van Mijenfjorden. The itinerary is shown on the map below.

The members of the PHOTA project went to two sites in Van Mijenfjorden and collected several ice cores. Some cores were taken to be pooled in the lab, meaning that their bottom section (3 cm) were melted in filtered seawater. These cores were used to estimate the concentration of chlorophyll a, of particulate organic carbon and nitrate (POC/N), of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and also the photophysiology of sea ice algae using 14C incubations. Other cores were taken for Janina and Laura´s Master projects. In the field, Laura scraped the bottom ice section with a knife to collect sea ice algae and later incubate them in the lab. Some ice cores were taken for everyone including chlorophyll a cores, Temperature/Salinity cores, Nutrients cores, DIC cores. Some pictures of this amazing fieldwork day are shown below.

We did not only collect sea ice samples but also seawater at the interface between the water and the ice. Seawater was filtered using a pump and tubings.

Seawater measurements such as the temperature, the depth, the conductivity were taken using a device called a CTD, which stands for Conductivity Temperature Depth.


Map.

Let's go to Van Mijenfjorden.

A gorgeous fjord.

A gorgeous fjord.

A gorgeous fjord.

Karley filtering seawater.

Coring.

Our guide monitoring the area.

Our guide monitoring the area.

Glad to go back home after a long day.

Many cores left on the sea ice. We did a good work!

Day 21: 15.04: Lab day, lots of samples to process

Lots of samples needed to be processed since the members of the PHOTA project collected several ice cores at two different sites. As before, we filtrated the samples, measured salinity, nutrients etc. I also conducted two 14C incubations, still under the supervision of Karley Campbell.

Benjamin Lange had to return to Tromsø earlier. From now on, the team of the PHOTA project is only made up of girls!


Measuring salinity in the lab.

Day 22: 16.04: No fieldwork but labwork instead

The members of the PHOTA project could not go to the field because no guide was available. Instead, we processed some samples in the lab and had a shorter day.

Day 23: 17.04: A windy day in Van Mijenfjorden

At first, the weather seemed promising to go to Van Mijenfjorden but it turned out to be windy once the members of the PHOTA project got to the fjord. We were still able to collect samples but the sampling time was shorter than expected owing to gusts of wind reducing the visibility.

Our guide made a “wall” with the sledges of the snowmobiles! This was really helpful because it allowed us to work sheltered from the wind.

After the fieldwork, our guide made us a surprise! We went visiting an ice cave! Basically, we went inside in a glacier. It was really cool! Then, we came back to Longyearbyen. It was our last day in the field!

In Longyearbyen, we had our last meeting with our guide. He drew the different itineraries we took to go to the two fjords, see the picture below.


A promising day to go to Van Mijenfjorden.

Shelter against the wind.

Shelter against the wind.

The members of the PHOTA project visiting an ice cave.

Ice cave!

Back to Longyearbyen!

Map.
A windy day in Van Mijenfjorden. (YouTube). Video taken by our guide: Eirik Hellerud.

Day 24: 18.04: Last Lab day and packing equipment

The members of the PHOTA project processed the samples for the last time. Then, we started packing all the equipment away. We made the inventory of what we had to ship to Tromsø.


Packing all the equipment away.

Packing all the equipment away.

Day 25: 19.04: Packing all the equipment away

The members of the PHOTA project spent the whole day packing all the equipment away and cleaning the different labs.

Day 26: 20.04: Going back to Tromsø

The members of the PHOTA project finished packing the last equipment and then proceeded to the airport to fly back to Tromsø. It was the end of the adventure!


Last equipment packing.

Checking in luggage. Goodbye Longyearbyen!

The team back in Tromsø

The End!