(Photo: Clement Ottavi le Callonec)
(Photo: Clement Ottavi le Callonec)

Overall impression of our trip to Svartisen and the subglacial laboratory

24. – 26. June 2018

Written by: Clément Ottavi le Callonec, student, Polytech Paris Sorbonne (og sommerstudent, Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat)

A group of us have been working on the subject of glaciers for several weeks and having the opportunity to visit the glacier was a great chance for us. We all enjoyed the beauty of the glacier and Svartisen. The experience would have been even better if it had been sunny, but rain is part of the work!

We had the chance to assist Miriam in her work. We had realised that the task was not always easy, especially because of the weather conditions.

From a personal point of view, what immediately impressed me was the length of the tunnel and all the facilities inside. Indeed, the tunnel is perfectly arranged and organised to welcome researchers to stay there from a few days to several weeks. We spent only a few hours in the tunnel but it gave us a good feeling of life and work in it.

We also became aware of the hydrological activity under the glacier, through the different parts of the tunnel to which we had access. I did not think I would see so much water, even in summer. Anyway, it perfectly justifies the installation of a hydroelectric plant in the area. We were also impressed by the beauty of the glacier. However, working in such a setting is hard. We struggled to bore a hole in the ice for the stake during our time on the glacier. We each took turns and at each break, we looked up at the ice around us and realised how lucky we were to work in such a place.

As a student, I found the experience rewarding because we could see where the data we use come from. It’s also part of our training. We are convinced that this experience will serve us in our future engineering careers.

Our little adventure has brought us a lot of knowledge and we recommend that future glaciology students go on the glacier if they have the opportunity.

(Photo: Miriam Jackson)
(Photo: Miriam Jackson)