Saturday, 27 August 2011

life in the mines

View from Svea

For about  one and a half week i have been on a introduction course for new employees in Store Norske. Some of the others had bareley been in Svalbard for a few days, while a few like myself has been here for several months. The course goes through a lot of different topics like safety rules, first aid course, a tour in both Svea Nord and Mine 7. We also spent 3 days in Svea, which is a very nice place, with 4 meals a day and a stunning view.

My life as miner
Longwall mining
On Wednesday we had the last day of the year with midnight-sun, from that day we loose 40 min of day-light every day. I have started to feel it since it is now necessary to turn on the lights in the apartment.

The town has begun to fill up with kids again. Most of them have been on vacation on the mainland with their families, bringing back germs to the island. This has left me with the flue, which doesn´t really fit into my program at the moment ( but when does it ever fit???). There will be some busy days at the office and in the field the next days, because I leave on 3 weeks of vacation from Wednesday. I will go to Iceland for one week and then spend some time in Norway and maybe a warm place with Anna.
Last day of midnight-sun

Thursday, 11 August 2011

First snow;0)

Today when I woke up the weather was pretty sour. It was windy, foggy and rainy in town, but in the mountains the first snow had already settled. It is a bit early so it will probably not last for long, but one never knows. August is the month where summer turns into fall...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

mine visit

yesterday we had some good weather and flew out in the helicopter to clean up the drill sites. there is always some rubbish left, like drill pipes, hoses, paper and sticks. this is not allowed to be left in the terrain. Suddenly we got some fog, but the pilot was good so we did not have to spend the night on the mountain;0)

Today the weather was bad with fog and rain. Therefore a visit to mine 7 was on the schedule;0)
A magazine was visiting so they needed a geologist to be with them. we drove to the bottom of the mine, some 7-8 km inside the mountain. the roof is only 1.5 m here and a bit cramped up. we drove in tiny cars called ohlemann, where you have to be certain to keep your head low, in case you don´t n want a serious head-ache...

we looked at all the different equipment in the mine and talked to the miners. a good day! after the mine visit i showed them our core storage and helped our students with cleaning up in the storage...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

update on the bear...

The polar bear which attacked the British school children was only 250 kg and had no food in its stomach and therefore very hungry. The trip wires which had been put up surrounding the camp did not work, therefore the children got no warning of the attack before it was inside one of the tents. The group only brought one riffle which did not work properly, neither did a flare pen. The riffle clicked 4 times, before a fifth try was initiated by one of the wounded leaders and this time a single bullet hit the head of the bear, leaving it for dead amongst the tents and wounded people...

This was a tragic outcome for the students and a reminder to everyone that the Arctic is a dangerous place where precautions have to be taken at all times. This could have happened to everyone...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Sólheimajökull 2010

I still work on my glacier now and then, it is like my little baby;0)

Polar-bear attack...

Early this morning a polar-bear attacked a group of British students, just 40 km away from our town of Longyearbyen. The bear was a male, weighing 250 kg. One student got killed and four others got seriously injured. The students where a part of a 13 person group staying in a tent camp close to a glacier.

It is tragic and sad that this happens.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011


Dancing in the midnight sun
Finally you (and I) would say, I am writing something on my blog. I see my last entry was June 2nd. I got a new internet connection now, allowing me to update my blog and a little bit more time;0)

We found coal...
There has been quite some work in my end, drilling in the mountains to find out if there was any cold and at which depths. We ended the drilling season on the 15th of July and since then we have been doing some field work. This basically means that we climb around steep to very steep slopes to find outcrops of coal. these outcrops are then cleared with shovels so we can estimate the thickness and altitude of the coal seams. Later the positions are verified with the use of DGPS (differential GPS) which narrows the uncertainty of the position to less than 10 cm. Most of the days we have been out we had really good and "warm" weather, so it was actually possible to get a tan. So i really like my job, except for the steep parts of the slopes. My brain doesn´t like the possibility of falling 500m, neither does my body...

Fram in the ice in the harbour
Soon field season will be over. I have a course for almost 1 1/2 weeks going through the company structure and visiting the mines.
A few weeks ago a lot of sea ice drifted into our fjord, blocking the entrance to the fjord and the harbour. This was bad for the cruise traffic, but I think it fits in the Arctic environment;0). It also brought several polar bears to the outskirts of town, but they where chased away by the Governour so the rest of us could not enjoy this sight...

Field area
 I am so lucky that I get some vacation:0). I will travel to Iceland around September 1st and stay there for a week or so, taking over our apartment, moving some stuf, meeting Anna and sleeping in the hot-pots (which I MISS a lot). Then we will have some time in Norway and maybe go to a warm place...
One happy geologist