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6 months living in the Arctic

Collecting seismic & bathymetric data on a hovercraft


Norwegian scientists Yngve Kristoffersen and Audun Tholfsen have recently celebrated spending 6 months living and working on an ice drift station.

The two scientists have kept a weekly diary reporting from the Arctic, providing updates on the work they have accomplished and relevant scientific information generated from the seismic and bathymetric data collected with their hovercraft 'Sabvabaa'.

The hovercraft plays a pivotal role as a mobile science platform designed to operate autonomously, serving as a temporary ice drift station or operating jointly as an ice breaker, with low operating costs.

'Sabvabaa' can carry 2,400 liters of diesel fuel sufficient for nearly 40 hours operation at economy speed. The scientific equipment has been specially designed, using aluminium to allow for greater fuel-carrying capacity and therefore extended endurance.

Here are some extracts from the Geonova Diary of the Yngve and Audun:

Week 19: It's been a great year! (5 - 12 Jan. 2015)

This week, the campsite is moving very slowly over an unexplored part of the Lomonosov ridge. The team is thereby getting great seismic data. An ice crack developed and almost swallowed three of the team's foodboxes.

Week 22 (26 Jan. - 2 Feb. 2015)

This week, the team is working on getting a windmill working again, also, one of their computers is having trouble. However, the scientists are getting great seismic and bathymetric data, which will contribute to the knowledge of Deep Arctic

Week 26: First signs of Spring

On Saturday, Yngve and Audun were celebrating a half-year ice drift milestone with a nice dinner. However, the air gun stopped firing during the celebrations and seismic acquisition was the priority at the time, which resulted in repairs carried out throughout the night. It is still cold and the winds are strong in the Deep Arctic.

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  • Griffon Hoverwork Ltd.
  • Merlin Quay, Hazel Road
  • Woolston, Southampton
  • SO19 7GB
  • United Kingdom
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