ICE Fimbul Ice Shelf expedition diary: Season 1

During their time at the Fimbul Ice Shelf, the scientists will keep an online diary which you can read here.

Diary entries

  • All things must come to an end

    62 diary entries are history. We now focus on going home.

  • Thank you!

    This is a special thanks to two scientists at the British Antarctic Survey.

  • Hiking and nature

    Great weather for a hike, and possibly a flight delay?

  • Evening News, Hiking and Return

    Friday we worked with recording and sending a feature for the national evening news broadcast.

  • Troll International Airport

    Loads of activity today at the Troll airstrip.

  • Into Containers

    We are going over the equipment—everything must work the next time it’s to be used.

  • Cleaning Up and Loading

    A lot of activity at Troll. We have loads of final jobs to do.

  • Buddha Stomach

    Five of us went up on the Buddha stomach.

  • To Troll

    We drove to Troll on the 3rd and 4th of January.

  • Near Gale and Snow

    If all goes well, we will be at Troll on Monday.

  • Departure

    We have been travelling the whole day.

  • New Year’s Eve at the Loading Location

    We arrived at the loading location the night before New Year’s Eve.

  • Night Driving to the Realm of the Penguins

    We were driving both day and night to get the last ice cores drilled and loaded on board.

  • Hurried Work and the Covered Wagon

    We are suddenly busy rushing out to the boat that is waiting at the ice edge.

  • Packing and welding

    300 m from M3, Sembla had a breakdown with all the glaciologists – and M3 has been cleared.

  • The last rig is under the ice

    The spirits are more than good.

  • M3 – the last drill site

    We’re under way with the final drill hole.

  • A traditional Christmas Eve

    We kept to the traditions.

  • Rapid service

    In a big city it takes several days to get a differential replaced. On the Fimbul Ice Shelf it took 32 minutes. In the end we remained stuck anyway.

  • Christmas efforts

    Everyone joins in to make a great Christmas.

  • Just waiting

    What to do while waiting...

  • Merry Christmas!!

    At least we have a white Christmas.

  • The second drilling succesful

    Hot water drilling through 395 meter is ended. Now, this mooring is also collecting data.

  • Transportation and drilling

    Little time for the diary today, we are drilling and the glaciologists have started their traverse.

  • Finally back to working

    A little celebration, and finally we are working again.

  • No news

    Tonight “Blade Runner” is on. No news. But it looks like the weather is improving, and a pause of at least four days will occur between the low pressures.

  • Another storm

    We await better weather.

  • Fimbul Ice Shelf, top to bottom

    The mooring goes down through the ice, right down to the bottom.

  • On the road to M2

    This evening and night we are on the road to M2, 20 miles southeast. The only leftovers are the instruments.

  • Break camp M1

    Finally we are breaking up from M1.

  • Digging Fimbul

    Today we showelled several tons of snow that was covering our equipment.

  • After a storm comes ...

    We are working again, the storm is over.

  • Storm

    We're stuck due to bad weather. On such days, we'll each pick a picture to publish.

  • Revenge of the weather gods

    Today the weather came back with a vengeance after we had won the race against the coming storm.

  • We won the race!

    We started drilling in a gap between two storms and beat the second storm with a 2-hour margin!

  • Drilling day

    All the way through the ice shelf, at 230 m depth.

  • Bad weather to start, then clearing, and getting ready to drill

    Gearing up for 36 hours of continuous hot water drilling

  • Final tests before the growing storm

    These are busy days now as we test our drilling equipment, making sure that everything is working properly before the coming bad weather stops us.

  • Good days

    Everyone is in a cheery mood: the glaciologists prepare for their first traverse, and all the hot water drilling equipment is working.

  • Waste and weather

    We leave behind (almost) nothing but the wind and snow.

  • In full action

    A typical workday is 12 hours. Today we discuss snow sampling and the setting up the hot water drilling equipment.

  • Big machines, lots of horsepower

    A lot of energy is needed to move our nearly 60 tons of equipment onto the ice.

  • At M1

    Now we can finally start drilling!

  • Communication

    It's not always easy to be online down here on the ice shelf, but now we have arrived. Back on the web again, and at our first drill site.

  • Good food and a shower – the keys to happiness

    It is not straightforward preparing a menu to everyone's taste. But today everyone was satisfied: The shower was assembled.

  • Ice rises and ice rumples

    Out on the ice shelf it is completely flat. Except for the occasional ice rise or ice rumple poking almost imperceptibly up out of the flat terrain.

  • Good data from the radar!

    The first data are pouring into our computers. We celebrate and have visitors.

  • Over the hinge zone and onto the Fimbul Ice Shelf

    Today we drove onto the ice shelf, over the zone where the floating Fimbul Ice Shelf hinges to the inland ice. From here, the Fimbul extends for 300 km to the horizon.

  • Into the great infinite

    Like driving a tractor from Oslo to Bergen.

  • Thanks for the hospitality!

    Our stay at Troll has been terrific, but tomorrow we head out onto the ice!

  • Planning the transport route

    The main transport route from Troll station down to the ice edge.

  • The Radar Patrol is getting ready

    The glaciology team will go over much of Fimbul Ice Shelf with an advanced radar system, similar to one being designed to send to Mars, which will be used to detect bottom melting.

  • Things fall into place

    The final vital pieces of equipment are trickling in. Today the radar used to detect crevasses along the travel route arrived, after making an impressive trip from Tromsø to Troll.

  • Security, security, security

    Under the flat white snow surface hide deep crevasses in the parts of the ice shelf we pass during the trip. The glaciologists must know what to do if they have an unexpected encounter with a crevasse as they travel around on Fimbul Ice Shelf.

  • A large operation

    Many tons of equipment need to be moved on the ice – and everything has to work!

  • The whole expedition gathered, finally, at Troll

    How to get to this part of Antarctica.

  • On our way with some complication

    Wednesday the last 9 members of the Fimbul Ice Shelf expedition, and 3 mechanics who will work at Troll, leave from Cape Town for the Russian base Novolazarevskaya station (NOVO), after a delay of one day.

  • First working day

    Today was our first working day at Troll. We began by making a plan for how we should proceed.

  • From Novo to Troll

    Finally at Troll

  • From Cape Town to the Antarctic

    A flight to Antarctica is not like any flight.

  • Waiting in Cape Town

    The first days of the expedition are spent in Cape Town, waiting for the transport to Antarctica.