22 July – 7 August

For the second field period we were a group of six: Alix, Marita, Andrea, Kjetil, Thorstein and I. Marita and Andrea were collecting field data for their masters thesis projects. We walked over to Fardalen on 24 July, Longyearbreen was nearly snow-free providing easy walking conditions. On the other side of the pass there was still some large snow patches but they were melting fast. We were met at Kjell’s hut by Wieslaw who was staying for four weeks to study landscape and ecosystem changes in the nearby valleys. The day we arrived we installed the instruments for monitoring hydrological properties (water stage, conductivity and turbidity). Unfortunately, it turned out the turbidity meter did not work and that we arrived on a day when the water level was relatively high such that after two days we had to reposition the sensors because the water level had dropped so much that they were out of the water in both streams. Nevertheless, data logging was successful for the rest of this field period. Water stage was converted into discharge by doing several salt tracing tests, here we added 1-2kg of salt to the river and monitored the conductivity downstream. From the increase in conductivity over baseline values it is possible to calculate a discharge. Stream water samples were collected as we did during the first field period, but since the rivers were more turbid, filtering took a lot longer. Luckily when one of the hand pumps broke it was at the end of the trip!

As well as collecting water samples we went up to the front of Dryadbreen to take a sample of supraglacial meltwater and samples of sediments and rocks. After ten days of sampling it was time to pack all the equipment up. Some samples we could carry out, but the majority are awaiting the return of snow when it will be possible to collect them with a snowmobile.