"It was go-go-go here"-Last blog from LongTerm team 2

Projekt Longterm, Team 2; blogg 2007-09-01

ByProf. Per Mller, PhD Nicolaj K.Larsen, Lektor Eric S.Hansen, PhD Henriette C. Linge

The snow storm had us in its grip the whole night towards Monday morning, but then it died out. Due to the hard winds no snow accumulated on the landing strip, but our two tents put up as shelters were the perfect snow catchers; a half meter of snow was blown up around them.

When I went out first thing in the morning I noticed that we were not alone, we have had visitors. Track from our two friends the polar foxes revealed that they had close watch on us, and even had been at the entrances for a sniff. Flying conditions were good the whole day, but the two hours in-between satellite telephone contact to Station Nord just told us continuous snowing there, and so it went on for the whole night and the morning of Tuesday. Food was now down to minimum, with just one supper left, and then some bread and soups. The situation was not optimal, to say the least. However, after lunch we saw the blue strip in the north, rapidly expanding southwards; the high pressure prognosticated for yesterday was approaching and after a few hours we had majestic snow-covered mountain tops against a clear blue sky, mirroring themselves in the river; no wind what so ever. It was go-go-go here, and in the late afternoon also at Station Nord -we thought. The Twin Otter arrived at about seven o'clock and we headed south. An approach to Station Nord was made, but now the clouds were down to ground level again. The plane just did a steep climb and turned north again, heading for Kap Moltke in the inner part of Independence Fjord, some 50 minutes from Station Nord. There we stayed for the night in a hut, so at least we didn?t have to put up tents again. Fine weather on the next morning, and a new try towards Station Nord, and we just managed to slip under low clouds and hit the ground at this infamous place when it comes to weather. So, eventually after six days of trying we were "home". Warm showers, nice warm food and a couple of beers were waiting for us.

But Station Nord was of course not our final goal; the plans were to go continue towards Iceland after a few hours. But due to the involuntary overnight stay at Kap Moltke the pilots had run out of hours and must have a regulated rest. So the blue skies of the high pressure came and went, and it was snow again over this winter landscape. The planned pre-evacuation had now gone over into expedition overtime, putting a quite high stress on most of the expedition members due to obligations waiting at home- and there was not much to do about it. Snow and low clouds were reported along the whole east coast of Greenland, including the places for mandatory fuelling for the Twin Otter on its way to Iceland. On Friday the prognosis for flyable weather was Monday or Tuesday as a low pressure seemed just to rotate around us, but early Saturday morning when I was in the shower it was shouted: take off in one hour! Suddenly it was hectic activities and away we were! After fuelling stops along the east coast of Greenland at Danmarks Havn and Constable Pynt we headed for Iceland, and 22 hours after take off from Station Nord we were all in Copenhagen, and the expedition came to an end. All near and dear ones were quite happy to have us safe at home after close to six weeks of absence.

Our result from this season and the previous one in 2006 were summarized during afternoon meetings at Station Nord, and we were all quite content with the total outcome. A publication plan, a plan for talks at upcoming scientific meetings, and how we shall inform about our results in a more popular way was agreed upon, though we must await a large number of dating results. A minor part of the latter objective will the

publication of these bloggs on my personal home page (Per Mller at http://www.geol.lu.se ), with addition of a number of pictures, hopefully ready in a month or so. If readers of these bloggs have any questions on our work, please feel free to contact me on e-mail (per.moller@geol.lu.se )

All the best!


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