Welcome... Velkommen


This is my, Oliver Grant's, re-vamped Blog, which I originally created for my trip to the Arctic way back in 2011 (hence the name).

Since then I have graduated from the University of Reading, entered the world of work with Hertfordshire County Council, and then rejected real life to go back to University!

I am now about to embark on a Master's course at the University of Bergen, Norway! Studying Quaternary Geology and Palaeoclimatology, and hope to share some experiences here.

Ha Det!

Some Photographs from the Field...

Friday, 15 August 2014

Blood from a Stone...


So it's been a while since I last posted here... a lot has happened in two and a half years; Graduation, Work, Swimming, Multiple Eye Operations, not Swimming, Travel, Applying for Masters... and now starting that Masters!

I am moving to Bergen tomorrow (16/08/2014) to start my Masters in Quaternary Geology and Palaeoclimatology! basically using geological techniques to reconstruct previous climates within the last two million years (or something like that).

As part of my degree, I will be writing a thesis, using Cosmogenic Nuclide Dating to interpret how rapidly the ice-stream in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen, retreated at the end of the last Ice Age... which meant a Field Trip to the Arctic!

Heres a (not very useful) map...

From 21st July to 9th August 2014, I was lucky enough to take part in Field Work on Blomstrandhalvøya and Ossian Sarsfjellet, near Ny-Ålesund. I joined Anne Hormes from UNIS/Gothenburg, Henriette Linge from Bergen, Ewa Lind from Stockholm, and Maxime Debret from Rouen in the field.

The aim of the fieldwork was to collect samples from Erratic Boulders, which I will then process in the lab and eventually send off for dating (boulders are not a cheap date). We were also collecting sediment samples from an Arctic Lake (Sarsvatnet), where Maxime and Ewa are hoping to get a record of climatic changes.

The fieldwork was an incredible experience, and required a lot of elbow-grease and some ingenuity, but was an amazing hands-on opportunity! Here are just some of the tribulations:
  • Sinking inflatable boat... R.I.P. Titanic II/Core Hunter/Profile Hunter
  • Faulty Geo-Radar
  • Tube hunting
  • Stone-saw running out of fuel... on the summit of all places!
  • Injury to team member
  • Jazzy 1980's life-jackets
  • Sample collection in horizontal snow... in July!
  • Fjord crossing on a PolarCirkel in high winds
  • Paddling around Sarsvatnet for 8 hours... in dense fog!
But we successfully collected boulder and sediment samples (Rocks and Mud!) and managed a Bathymetric map of the Lake! I am incredibly grateful to Anne, Henriette, Ewa and Maxime for giving me the opportunity to go on this field trip, and for their continued guidance and teaching.

It was awesome to be back in Svalbard, catching up with some old faces (and beer), and meeting some new (...and beer), But now I must look forward to moving to Bergen (...but no beer).

Anyway, sorry for the essay... here are some photos...

To understand the boulder, you must become the boulder...

... and then smash it's head in

Ha Det!

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