Getting ready for season two of ICE Fimbul Ice Shelf

Preparations for a second season on ICE Fimbul Ice Shelf are well underway. All the equipment, both scientific and personal, is packed into 25 metal zarges boxes, already on their way south.

Preparing equipment for the second field season of ICE Fimbul Ice Shelf

All the equipment, both scientific and personal, is packed into 25 metal zarges boxes, already on their way south. Photo: Elvar Ørn Kjartansson / Norwegian Polar Institute

Tore Hattermann

Tore Hattermann. Photo: Elvar Ørn Kjartansson / Norwegian Polar Institute

Meeting in preparation for the second field season of ICE Fimbul Ice Shelf

All members of the project have contributed in the lead up to this coming season and will continue to provide support to the small field team. Photo: Elvar Ørn Kjartansson / Norwegian Polar Institute

In comparison to last year when we had hot water drilling equipment, our load is light. We have three radar systems, including one that is used to detect crevasses along our driving route, three high precision GPS instruments, exchange batteries for the instruments that are installed on the ice, shovels and tools, top of the range media equipment, and a plethora of PCs and back-up drives; not to mention the small things like extra gloves and hats.

The ground work was laid out last year with a network of stations being established over the ice shelf, this year we will revisit these sites. The oceanography team must find the 3 holes that were drilled through the ice shelf last season, where instruments were left to monitor the oceans beneath the ice shelf. A full year’s worth of temperature, salinity and current data is waiting to be retrieved from these instruments. The glaciology group will revisit the 56 radar stations to accurately measure changes in the ice thickness and determine how much of that change is due to melting or refreezing at the base of the ice shelf.

All members of the project have contributed in the lead up to this coming season and will continue to provide support to the small field team, consisting of:

  • Stein Tronstad, field team leader
  • Tore Hattermann, oceanographer
  • Johan Hustadnes, electrician and field support
  • Elvar Ørn Kjartansson, photographer and field support
  • Kjetil Bakkland, mechanic and paramedic
  • Kirsty Langley, glaciologist


Our plan of events is:

  • 10 Nov: Flight Cape Town – Troll Station
  • 10-20 Nov: Preparations at Troll Station
  • From 20 Nov: Fieldwork on Fimbulisen ice shelf
  • 22 Dec: Oceanography team returns to Cape Town and Tromsø
  • 12 Jan: Glaciology team leaves Troll Station. Season completed!