First week of fieldwork – Svalbard 2017

First week of fieldwork ended. We have finished it with pretty good result 🙂 However the weather was not on our side. After two sunny days which we spent on things related to accommodation, safety course and research area reconnaissance, rain began to fall. We had to wait until the weather gets better. In order not to waste time, we tried to use every hour without rain to work in the field. After study areas exploration we made decision about the final number of plots that we would like to study and soil samples which we would like to gather on the each of five glacier moraines. We decided to study 100 plots and collect 50 soil samples on both of Brøggerbreen foreland (Austre Brøggerbreen and Vestre Brøggerbreen). Regarding Lovénbreen forelands (Austre, Midre and Vestre Lovénbreen) we selected 25 plots on each of three moraines to investigate and collect soil samples. In total, we planed to do 175 plots and collect 125 soil samples in only 10 days. Our first goal were the moraines of Brøggerbreen.

View on Vestre Lovénbreen with its foreland (left side), Austre and Vestre Brøggerbreen with their moraines (right side).

Austre Lovénbreen (left side) and Midre Lovénbreen (right side) with their moraines.

Our research area: Austre and Vestre Brøggerbreen moraines.

Austre Brøggerbreen forehead in rainy clouds.

We prepared all research equipment and were ready to work.  In this way we have slowly implemented our research field plan despite the weather problems. We also felt the thrill of emotion when in the next days we found fresh bear tracks that crossing our research area on moraines of Brøggerbreen.

Polar bear tracks crossing our research area on Austre Brøggerbreen moraine.

One of 100 plots within which we calculated the percentage cover of each species of vascular plants, lichens and bryophytes.

On Friday the sun once again came out, so during weekend we mobilized all forces to work in the field. We started at 9 am. and worked till 11 pm., hopefully without meeting with polar bear 😉 Below you can find short video about our first week of fieldwork 🙂


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