SciencePub LANCE cruise 5

By Nalan Koc & Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen

On Sunday 9th of September our cruise ended in Longyearbyen. It has been an intense 8 days out at sea, and we are all rather worn out due to all the physical work. But, the cruise has been a great success! We retrieved all our planned samples and a bit more!


Here are all those who were on board R/V LANCE during the SciencePub Cruise 2007 in front of Kronebreen in Kongsfjorden. You can guess yourself from their dirty outfits who were the scientists working on deck retrieving samples. Our journalist Jan-Morten Bjrnbakk from NTB took the photo.

There are 3 essential factors for making a cruise a success: #1. good weather, which we had! #2: well-functioning equipment, which they became with some adjustments. And the last but not the least factor is the crew on board. We have had an extremely professional, competent and service-minded crew, who also had a lot of good humor! They are the backbone of the whole operation and the success of the cruise. From getting us to the exact positions of the sampling sites as the captain did together with his machine engineers, to driving the winches with our expensive equipment dangling from it as the deck-mates did, to making comfortable living conditions on board as the cook and the stewardesses did. We thank the crew of R/V LANCE for making this cruise a success!


Captain Petter steering R/V LANCE with finesse.


The chief engineer Johan together with 1st machinist Jan Petter and trainee Odd Erik making sure that the engines are running smoothely. Photo by Tor Ivan Karlsen.


Deck-mates Tom and Dan taking turns driving the winch with the multicorer. Photo by Tor Ivan Karlsen.


Emil together with Kristin and Marisa served us the most delicious traditional dishes from Norway. Photo by Tor Ivan Karlsen.

SciencePub LANCE Cruise 4

SciencePub LANCE Cruise 4

By Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen, Katrine Husum, Catherine Stickley, Lindsay Wilson & Jung-Hyun Kim

Onboard "Lance" we work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make the most of time and money. We are therefore organized into 2 working groups. The "day shift" works from 8 -16 and 20 - 24 while the "night shift" works from 16- 20 and 24 - 8. During a marine geological cruise a lot of things need to be done: cores of soft marine sediment are retrieved from the sea floor and later processed in the laboratory. The sediment cores are brought up to the ship?s deck from the sea floor using a multicorer. The multicorer is a large metal frame which houses 6 plastic tubes that are filled with sediments when the frame reaches the sea floor. The sediment is trapped inside the tubes by a metal plate that snaps underneath the tubes after they fill up with sediment. This type of corer retrieves excellent short sediment cores without disturbing the sea floor. When the cores come up you can see clear seawater above the sediments in the tubes, and sometimes we even catch tiny shrimps in the plastic tubes. After the sediment cores are secured on deck, they have to be processed in the lab. A sediment core can be thought of like a stack of pancakes. The oldest ones are in the bottom of the stack and every year a new layer (or a pancake) is added, and in that way we can reconstruct past environments. In the laboratory the sediment core is sampled at every cm downwards thus giving information going back in time. The samples are going to be analyzed back home for foraminifera, dinoflagellates, diatoms, DNA, and physical and geochemical composition of the mud.


In the picture you see the multicorer coming up in Kongsfjorden, and Lindsay Wilson (University of Troms) from the day watch is steering the corer towards the deck.


The sampling was successful. Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen from the Norwegian Polar Institute is holding one of the sediment cores after it has been secured with lids.


In the picture Simon, Noortje (both from Vrije University) and Kim (NIOZ) sampling a core in the laboratory.

Micro bacterial group

We (Jung-Hyun Kim and Francien Peterse) are from the Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ) located on the island of Texel. We are filtering a lot of sea water and sampling mud. We are looking for very small compounds produced by molecular organisms the size of bacteria. For molecular biological (DNA) and biogeochemical (lipid) analyses, we have to keep the samples (both water and mud) frozen at -20C or -80C until they are treated at home. So we are running up and down steep ladders hundred of times a day from the laboratory to the cool storage room in the bottom of the ship. It is a great fitness exercise - we are getting very fit here!!!


Small samples are taken for DNA analysis by Kim and Simon in the laboratory.


During the cruise somebody has to work during the night, and this year the night watch are: Arto Miettinen, Catherine Stickley (both from the Norwegian Polar Institute), Kari Grsfjeld (The Geological Survey of Norway) and Katrine Husum (University of Troms). Our job is the same as that as the day watch; namely to take samples with the multicorer and subsample the sediment cores in the lab. The winches are run by the ship crew, but we have to empty the multicorer and secure the sediment cores as they get on deck. The latter can be a little troublesome as you have to get down on your knees on the cold, wet, muddy, slippery deck to get a grip of the cores, but the "House of Smooth" has developed great techniques, and we can now do it with brutal efficiency (6 cores in 15 minutes). Afterwards the cores are subsampled in the lab.


On the picture is ?The House of Smooth? in front of the multicorer. The picture is taken at 5 am in Hinlopen Strait. It is nice to do the night watch at high latitudes at this time of the year as it does not get really dark during the night and the skyscapes can really take on an ethereal quality. It is also easy to see that marine geology can be muddy work but a lot of fun! p.s. can you see the Polar Bear??Mud, mud and more mud!!

As you can see from the group photograph of the "day shift" we start the cruise in nice and clean thermal overalls complete with safety boots and hard hats. The work on deck involves mud, mud and more mud...somehow a lot of it ends up on us, there seems to be no way to avoid it! Although we use a lot of water for rinsing and cleaning the equipment and core tubes we never manage to avoid the mud.

We have now been working for 6 days onboard the ship, carrying cores, sampling and cleaning and have become a very efficient team. However, most of the time it doesn't feel like hard work because we are lucky to be surrounded by some spectacular scenery including snow-covered mountains, icebergs and seabirds...and more importantly, calm seas!

There is always some competition between the day and night shift over who can do the best and most work...we of course believe we are better, in fact, we are convinced that if timed we could do all 6 cores in 10 minutes!!


The clean dream team : Lindsay Wilson (University of Troms), Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen, Margot Saher (both from Norwegian Polar Institute), Noortje Dijksma and Simon Troelstra (both from Vrije University).

+ the little intruder from the night shift (Katrine Husum, University of Troms)

"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 ), 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 ( )

All the best!

SciencePub LANCE cruise 3

By Nalan Koc (cruise leader)

Today at noon we passed 80N and are now at the shelf edge north of Hinlopenrenna. On our way here we passed through a belt of sea-ice. We saw some seals and whales, but no polar bears (yet!) to our disappointment.

Fortunately, the northern shelf of Spitsbergen is sea-ice free during summer (see sea-ice chart from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute). Otherwise, we wouldnt dare sample in sea-ice covered waters due to fear of loosing our expensive instruments.



Coring has been going very good. We are getting samples in all 6 cores of the multicorer. Here is Kari Grsfjeld from NGU and Lindsay Wilson from UiT ready to take the cores to lab for sampling for different

micropaleontological, sedimentological and geochemical studies.


SciencePub LANCE cruise 2

By Nalan Koc (cruise leader)

We are now in Kongsfjorden heading out of the fjord and north to Hinlopen trough. But, let's start from day # -1.


The night before sailing out (Friday) we gathered at the Kroa restaurant in Longyearbyen for pizza and getting acquainted.


Cruise participants boarded LANCE Saturday morning at 7:30 and we sailed out of Longyearbyen heading north to Kongsfjorden at 7:50. The cruise has started!

We have had sunny, blue skies and calm seas under the 10 hours of transit to Kongsfjorden, and the following day. Perfect conditions for taking sediment cores. On Saturday evening we sat our 2 biology students from NINA on land at Mitra peninsula. We will pick them up on our way back to Longyearbyen next Saturday. Our NTB-journalist and Spanish photographer went ashore with them for an hour to interview them on their project and check out their living quarters for the next 8 days. During the night we took the pulse of the Atlantic water flowing into the Kongsfjord with a transect of 7 CTD stations. Right under the surface polar water, the Atlantic water flowing into the Kongsfjord was up to 5C warm.

Beautiful weather just outside Kongsfjorden. In the background are my most favorite peaks Tre-Kroner (Svea, Nora, Dana). Their peaks are of Permian coral rocks, which are hard to erode and therefore are forming the caps of the peaks.

This year we have a brand new CTD with not only temperature and salinity probes, but also a flourometer and a probe for measuring oxygen. Tor Ivan, our electronics engineer from NPI, is responsible for running all our CTD-measurements. He is the only person other than me who is not working on shift but, is on duty 24-hours a day! Here he is reading the Manuel before deploying the instrument at our first station.

Our Multicorer is also brand new. We are using it for the first time and we have had some frustrations with it since not all of its 6 arms were closing properly, which is necessary for keeping the sediments retrieved in the cores. After trying a few different tactics we finally took off some weight off it making it lighter and that did the trick! Now, everything is functioning as it should and we are keeping our cruise participants busy slicing up mud!

Tekst og foto: Tor Ivan Karlsen

Norsk Polarinstitutt har kjpt en ny CTD til forskningsfartyet R/V Lance. Den nye CTD-en som er produsert av seabird, er mer kompakt og lettere hndtere. I tillegg til standard sensorer som trykk, temperatur og salinitet, har den ogs oksygen og klorofyll sensorer montert. Alle sensorene kan opereres ned til 6500 meter. CTD-en er utstyrt med en vannprvetaker (rosette). Kapasiteten er 10 flasker a 10liter.


CTD-en er ett av de viktigste instrumentene som er ombord. Den gir forskerne viktig informasjon om de oseanografiske forhold p stedet. Ofte tas det frst en CTD profil fr biologiske eller maringeologiske prver tas.

Andlast but not least: the Dutch group form Norclim project. Check out their bloggs and videos!!!


Opp- og nedturer, og ikke bare med fly

Av Astrid Lys og Eiliv Larsen, Team 3 Grnland

S lenge tke og sn rdde grunnen, var hundespann det sikreste fremkomstmiddel. Flyet vrt mtte pent vente

Og plutselig fikk vi beskjed om at flyet kom for hente oss. Da ble det liv i leiren; kjkkentelt vitenskapelig utstyr, prver, sovetelter og personlig utstyr skulle pakkes og bres til landingsbanen i lpet av 1,5 time for at vi skulle rekke komme oss ut fr neste snstorm. Vi rakk det akkurat, men ikke helt uten uhell. Claus fikk en finger ut av ledd i et ublidt mte med tungt utstyr.

rets frste skitur ble tatt p Station Nord 31. august
Da vi landet p p Station Nord igjen, fortonet denne utposten seg som rene sivilisasjonen med dusj, rent ty og god mat. Claus fikk fingeren spjelket, men m vente til han kommer til Island fr den blir brutt p plass. Og venting blir det mer enn nok av. Frst p at de andre lagene skal kunne hentes inn til stasjonen, og deretter p at vi alle skal f reise hjem. Etter 4-5 dager med stemning som svinger med skydekke, sn, tke og vind er endelig alle samlet p Station Nord. Tror noen at det n er slutt med venting, er dette helt feil. N skal vi bare komme oss videre til Island slik at vi kan fordeles p vre hjemsteder med vanlige rutefly. Dessverre ser vret her veldig stabilt ut ? i vr disfavr, og vi har allerede vrt her i ytterligere 3-4 dager.

Jaap van der Meer utnytter ventetida til arbeide

Ukas hydepunkt p Station Nord er middagen. Det er ingenting si p forretten

Hvordan fr vi s tiden til g? Svrt forskjellig ser det ut til. Vi kommer hjem med pent renskrevne feltnotater. Det er jo alltid noe. Eiliv har ftt rets frste skitur - trtt fre, men helt fint, og vi har alle vrt ute med hundespann. Bde ski og hundespann ser ut til vre sikrere transportmulighet enn fly i disse dager s lang mot nord. Ellers ser noen film mens andre leser eller slapper av p andre mter. Alt dette kan jo hres greit ut, og vi lider absolutt ingen overlast her vi er. Imidlertid er det jo slik at vi alle har forpliktelser og avtaler hjemme som m endres. For noen er dette mer problematisk enn for andre, men det er alts lite vi kan gjre. Vi bare hper at neste gang standardreplikken "n synes jeg det har lettet litt" blir uttalt, s medfrer det riktighet. Men s kom neste rapport med varsel om flere dager med drlig vr fr vi kunne hpe p bedring. Dette var heldigvis feil. Neste morgen fikk vi en time til pakke og vre klar til flyvning. Og plutselig er vi er alts p vei hjemover, og har n lagt bak oss en fantastisk tur langs stkysten av Grnland. Nok en "sommer" er over!

Flyturen tilbake ble en minnerik opplevelse langs Grnlands stkyst

Kapp Ekholm

Blogg 4 av Maria Jensen


Den siste dagen p Kapp Ekholm fr vi besk. Ikke frre enn tolv ivrige studenter fra UNIS ankommer om morgenen og skal vre en del av vrt feltlag for dagen. Studentene flger alle kurset "The Quaternary geology of Svalbard" p UNIS og har vert p tokt til andre kvartrgeologiske lokaliteter p Svalbard med Anne og Maria tidligere p ssongen. Kapp Ekholm er siste feltekskursjon fr det gr ls med flere forelsninger, oppgaver og eget feltarbeid hjemme i Longyearbyen.


Studentene fr vre en del av den autentiske feltopplevelsen. Ikke bare fr de mte en gjeng med passe trtte og skitne geologer. De fr ogs vre med p gjre nye oppdagelser. Faktisk er det mye vi enn ikke har forsttt fr studentene ankommer og der er deler av snittet vi enn ikke har hatt tid til grave rent, s der er nok gjre for alle. Alle graver for harde livet, noen med mer held enn andre. De vi hadde satt p oppgaven flge en stor deformasjonsstruktur kjente sig kanskje litt snytt da den viste sig bare bli mer og mer komplisert som dagen gikk. De som hadde ftt som oppgave kartlegge og beskrive et av de snitt vi hadde hatt drlig tid til fant til gjengjeld helt nye enheter som gjorde at vi plutselig forsto mye mer av historien. Snn er det ogs i felt. Man vet aldri helt hva man fr og hvor i snittet det mest spennende kommer til vre gjemt. Uansett ser seksten par yer bedre enn fire og vi har kommet et stort sprang videre p den ene dagen. Forhpentlig har noen av studentene ogs ftt smak p mer og kanskje noen av dem kommer dra med noen av oss i felt senere som studenter eller assistenter.


Etter en lang dag med mange nye resultater sender vi studentene av grde til deres leir i Petuniabukta. Det blir sent fr vi fr samlet inn de siste data, tatt de siste bilder og prver og vandrer hjemad for pakke ned leiren.


Kapp Ekholm

Blogg 3 av Maria Jensen


Vi visste det ville bli spennende jobbe i snittene p Kapp Ekholm, og det har holdt stikk. Der har enn ikke gtt en dag uten at vi har sett noe nytt. Vi visste ogs at det ville bli vanskelig og det er det ogs. Det kjennes inn imellom som at for hvert problem vi lser fr vi et nytt. Kysterosjonen her i Billefjorden er begrenset og der m graves mye for se geologien under det ytterste laget av nedskredet mudder og sand. Det er hardt arbeid og der jobbes mange timer hver dag. Heldigvis blir al gravingen belnnet, for vi finner mange spennende detaljer som ikke har vret beskrevet fr.


Kapp Ekholm snittet siges inneholde spor etter fire glasiasjoner, hvor man mener Billefjorden var dekket av is og fire isfrie perioder, hvor havnivet var hyere enn n. Vi er spesielt interesserte i de glasiale avsettingene, men m ogs se p de marine intervallene for forst sammenhengen. Det blir hurtig klart for oss at de tidligere beskrivelser av de glasiale avsettinger ikke stemmer med det vi ser. Deretter bliver det vanskeligere. Faktisk har vi store problemer med finne igjen og flge de tidligere beskrevne enheter i det hele tatt. Etter hvert begynner vi forst hvor vre observasjoner atskiller sig fra de der har blitt gjort fr, og hvilke konsekvenser det har for forstelsen av glasiasjonshistorien i Billefjorden. Mot slutten av ssongen begynner en ny forstelse av snittene ta form og faktisk stemmer bde nye og gamle observasjoner p en mte s vi tror vi er p rett spor.



Vi lager grundige beskrivelser av avsettingene, tar bilder, tegner skisser og tar prver, der skal brukes til bestemme sedimentenes avsettingsmilj. Vi tager ogs prver, der skal brukes til teste om det lnner sig f flere dateringer av sediment fra Kapp Ekholm. Anne er spesialist p dateringer og skal jobbe med disse prvene til vinter. Lena og Maria skal jobbe videre med sedimentbeskrivelsene og stratigrafien og se om vi sammen med Anne kan f Kapp Ekholm puslespillet til g opp.



Kapp Ekholm

Blogg 2 av Maria Jensen

Ankomsten til Kapp Ekholm ble tffere enn forventet.


Et par timer i pen bt bliver ganske langt nr man er vt p innsiden av overlevelsesdrakten p grunn av hye blger og hissige skumspryt der overser oss med iskaldt havvann hvert yeblikk. Det er litt som reise under en kald dusj. Vi m losse sakene vre av bten p nesten en meter vann, da det ikke er mulig f bten helt opp p stranden i uvret.


Da vi vinker farvel til bten ligger kasser, spader, bensinkanner, vte klr og utmattede geologer spredt p nrmeste strandvoll, hvor vi tar en kald lunsjpause i vinden fr vi gr i gang med at sette opp leiren. Akkurat som vi har funnet ut hvor vi vil ha teltene og begynner og fekte med stenger og teltduk begynner snstormen.


Vi begynner bli litt skeptiske til den sene feltssong, der kanskje egner sig bedre til siviliserte forhold om bord p en bt enn en leir bestende av to sm telte p en stor steinet deltaflate.


Det tar oss hele dagen f opp telte og snublebluss og f en slags kjkken p plass i tre kasser p steinflaten, men s snart vi er ferdige vender vret. Snstormen slipper taket og vi solskinn og bl himmel og begynner se frem til begynne jobbe i snittene der ligger mindre enn en halv times gang fra leiren.