Posted by Michelle
I just returned from a fabulous trip to the field in Svalbard. The field team consisted of me and faculty/PhD students from the University of Innsbruck: Karin Koinig, Trine Holm, and Jakub Zarsky. We also recruited another student from the station to help carry field gear and samples.
After a 1h boat ride to a nearby island, Prins Karls Forland, we hiked 3h to Blokkvatnet across a crazy heterogeneous landscape (currently, I don’t have a better scientific description). Sampling the lake took about 6h and we finished around midnight; we collected a sediment core, surface sediments, and lake water. Trine will study diatoms in the sediment core layers as indicators of climate change. I will examine denitrification processes in the surface sediments when I return to the U of Oslo. Water samples will be analyzed for UV-screening algal pigments, microbial diversity, and basic chemical parameters. The results should be interesting because this is the first time the lake has been sampled and very little is known about it. After sampling the lake, we hiked back to the shore and set up our camp where we remained until the boat returned to collect us. The only way to describe arctic camping – COLD! We didn’t see much of the “midnight sun” because of heavy cloud cover. I posted more photos to flickr.