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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Recher­chefjord – 14th Juli 2015

Recher­chefjord – 14th Juli 2015

You can dis­co­ver so much if you just take the time for it. With a small group, we went on a Zodiac trip to explo­re Recher­chefjord in some detail. Start­ing in Calyp­so­by­en, a litt­le aggre­ga­ti­on of old huts whe­re coal occur­ren­ces were inves­ti­ga­ted in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, we met some very fri­end­ly Polish sci­en­tists. Their lea­der Piotr Zagór­ski invi­ted us for some tea and cof­fee and explai­ned their work. Geo­mor­pho­lo­gi­cal fieldwork with some long-term data sets. The gla­ciers in the area are curr­ent­ly shrin­king at a rate of 10 met­res per year, which is a lot for gla­ciers that ter­mi­na­te on land, but are buil­ding up ice in their hig­her rea­ches. May­be pre­pa­ring a sur­ge? Inte­res­t­ing. The acti­ve lay­er is now 1.40 met­res thick, in con­trast to 1.20 met­res as in recent years in avera­ge. The sum­mer has been very warm so far in Bell­sund. At least, it has brought a lot of colourful flowers to the tun­dra.

Pho­to Recher­che­breen – 14th Juli 2015


After a rela­xed pic­nic on a morai­ne hill near Renard­breen (Fox gla­cier), whe­re colourful til­li­tes are silent wit­nesses of a more or less glo­bal gla­cia­ti­on about 600 mil­li­on years ago (snow­ball earth theo­ry), the lagoon at Recher­che­breen was the next tempt­a­ti­on. The oppor­tu­ni­ty was good, the tide high, making the pas­sa­ge into the lagoon easy, while ice­bergs were taking the same chan­nel out at an ama­zing speed with the cur­rent. Once insi­de, we enjoy­ed the views of the ice­bergs and the ice cliff of Recher­che­breen sil­ent­ly for a while. The other group, which came hiking to this lagoon a litt­le while later, even saw Belugas the­re.

Pho­to Calyp­so­by­en – 14th Juli 2015


A very wind-bat­te­red hut on the eas­tern shore of Recher­chefjord is the only lef­to­ver from the attempts of Ernest Mansfield’s Nor­t­hern Explo­ra­ti­on Com­pa­ny to turn the „moun­tain of iron“ into cash. As it tur­ned out, the moun­ta­ins is of rock and not iron. Bad for Mans­field and his Nor­t­hern Explo­ra­ti­on com­pa­ny, which lost a lot of money the­re in 1918-19. Good for the tun­dra, which is flowe­ring near the hut in the most beau­tiful colours.



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last modification: 2016-09-23 · copyright: Rolf Stange