Greenland Caves Project @greenland_caves

Using cave-based deposits in Greenland for the first time to improve understanding of past climate change @uniinnsbruck

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Greenland Caves Project photos and videos

7 hours ago

Whilst one team explored the northern side of Grottedalen, a second team moved west along southern Grottedalen. They discovered a canyon full of caves, it was like Swiss cheese. Seen here is one of the the most significant caves we discovered in that new canyon. We jokingly referred to it as 'Stig Strikes Again' as it was yet another cave discovered by our helicopter pilot. The entrance had stunning bedding planes full of fossils, and as we climbed to the top of the bouldery ramp we could see an icy wall in front of us. By this point we had found that icy walls normally mean the cave doesn't 'go'. This one was different.... #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

810
Yesterday

The northern side of Grottedalen yielded two really stunning caves. The first, Crystal Kingdom, was shown yesterday. The second, Crystal Crawl, shown here was a beautiful tube sparkling with tiny icy crystals. The cave once had significant calcite deposits, which today are all naturally broken and lying on the floor. Here Gina is taking notes and collecting some of these broken samples. We're excited to get them in the lab and find out how old they are. #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1500
2 days ago

Crystal Kingdom gave up some amazing secrets. Shortly beyond the entrance the cave took a 90' bend. We were amazed at what hung in the roof. Huge hoar frost crystals the size of dinner plates. They were so pristine and beautiful. The light from our headlamps showed us their perfect structure and icy crystal layers. #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

3250
3 days ago

After exploring Kate’s Cove cave we headed back over to Grottedalen to take a look at some potential caves that we thought we could see through binoculars during our 2015 expedition. Back then, they were tiny black dots in the distance-too far away to tell if they were shadows or not, and too far away to reach on foot. This time, with the advantage of the helicopter, we were able to cover a lot more ground. Pictured here is the icy entrance to Crystal Kingdom (named after tomorrow's picture ). At present this is one of the most northerly explored caves on the planet. #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1280
4 days ago

Unfortunately Grotte de Quatre didn't yield any calcite samples for the climate change project, but nevertheless it did yield some interesting cave passages. With multiple entrances and multiple passages it was one of the most developed caves that we explorwd during the expedition. Here, our medic Pete is making his way up one of the meanders which was formed a long time ago by the action of water cutting its way down into the limestone. #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1420
5 days ago

The main reason for moving to Camp 2 was to visit Grotte de Quatre (pictured ), which was discovered in the 80’s during an expedition by a French team. For a Greenland cave it is quite complex. It has multiple entrances and several passages. We wanted to investigate it to look for calcite. Unfortunately we didn't find any but it was still really fun to explore. #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1330
6 days ago

The geology in the Centrumsø area is truly amazing. Whilst at Camp 2, those who woke early were rewarded with stunning views as the sunlight tickled the northern side of the lake, revealing folds in the Ordovician and Silurian limestone. These were produced during Caledonian thrust faulting 425 million years ago. Multiple horizontal terraces representing the former levels of Centrumsø can also be seen extending almost up to the hill tops. Photo: Paul Smith @FWF_at @uniinnsbruck @oxford_uni @theuniversityofsheffield @oxuniearthsci #geology #geologist #geologyrocks #Greenland #Arctic #science #research #exploration #expedition #stem

1040
1 weeks ago

We explored Kate’s Cove cave as far as we could. Into the blackness we went down a steep boulder pile into the depths of the cave. The floor was strewn with rocks and the walls were cold to touch. We had never been in a cave before where the rocks were so cold. The expedition medic even suggested @shonephoto had frost nip at one point! After about 80m, the bouldery floor gave way to a narrow slot. Pictured here, Chris is bridging his way over the top of the slot. We climbed down to see if it led to a way on. It got colder and colder and at its deepest point measured -17.1’C. Could this be the coldest cave in the world? Who knows. #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1180
2 weeks ago

Beyond the pool of ice that lay in the entrance of the cave (see yesterday's photo ), we scrambled up a small pile of rocks towards an icy roof. We were eagre to see if this cave would 'go', as exploration of most caves in Greenland is swiftly halted by a wall of ice. As we climbed, it got colder and colder; the temperature difference from the start of the ramp to the end was striking. Icy stalagmites poked up like candlesticks from the floor, and sparkly hoar frost crystals covered the ceiling. Our anticipation of what lay beyond was not disappointed, as we neared the top, we were greeted with the sight of blackness. Our excitement rose. The cave passage continued! We were about to go exploring! #80degreesnorth #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1620
2 weeks ago

Since the entrance of Kate’s Cove cave contains a wall to wall pool of very slippery ice, Chris rigged a handline across the left wall. This allowed us to safely enter the cave and also protected the ice from getting dirty and damaged. At this point we still didn’t know what lay beyond; we could only see the pile of breakdown rocks and walls covered in hoarfrost on the far side of the ice. #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves #80degreesnorth

1320
2 weeks ago

The entrance to Kate’s Cove cave contained a floor of ice from which we collected a sample to analyse the modern water chemistry. This information is important for setting the palaeoclimate record, which is obtained from the stalagmites, in the context of the modern climate signal. #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1810
2 weeks ago

Kate’s Cove cave (pictured ) was first spotted by our helicopter pilot Stig-Erick and Paul Smith during the initial mobilisation to Camp 1. We didn’t get to explore it though until we moved to Camp 2. The whole team were very excited, because we’d heard great things about this big entrance filled with ice. We were not disappointed. The cave turned out to be our longest discovered cave this year. At 104m long, this makes it the longest explored cave in Greenland. For sure this record will be broken with time, but for now, if you want to know more about what Greenland’s current longest cave looks like, stay tuned! #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

2050
2 weeks ago

Camp 1 was very successful. We spent 4 nights there collecting calcite samples for palaeoclimate reconstruction and glacial history, as well as undertaking some geological mapping. We then moved to Camp 2. Whilst the rotations were being done with the helicopter, Gina worked on some photographic survey data from the caves (photogrammetry ). #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1070
2 weeks ago

The caves are developed in Silurian limestones (pictured ) that were deposited when Greenland was located in tropical latitudes. The passages are preferentially located in the top few tens of metres of the Odins Fjord Formation, which is composed of subtidal limestones, and at the boundary with overlying reef limestones of the Samuelsen Høj Formation, suggesting that the geology was a significant control on cave development. Words & photo: Paul Smith. @oxford_uni #oxfordnaturalhistorymuseum @uniinnsbruck #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #science #research #explorer #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1190
2 weeks ago

Cairn Climb cave is named after the climb mentioned in yesterday’s post and the cairn in the entrance. We were asked by the National Museum in Nuuk to take a photograph of the cairn for their records so that they could find out if it was of further interest. In the top there was small piece of handkerchief with some very faint letters just visible. To this day we are still unsure who built the cairn and when? #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1300
3 weeks ago

Another objective of the expedition was to re enter this cave known as Cairn Climb cave, which we had explored in 2015. Accessing the cave is quite difficult and requires climbing up a 6m overhanging wall. Chris soloed the route first and then rigged a safety rope to make it easier for the rest of us to climb in. #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @greenland_caves

1300
3 weeks ago

Whilst one team worked in the caves, another team from the University of Sheffield, UK, worked on the surface to better understand how the glaciers in the area have advanced in the past. Here, Adam is collecting a sample from a boulder that was deposited some time ago when the glaciers were much larger than they are today. The timing of the deposition of this boulder by the glacier will be dated using a method called ‘cosmogenic isotope exposure dating’, which establishes how long a rock’s surface has been exposed to the atmosphere. This method has been used successfully across the globe to date the extent and thickness of former ice sheets and glaciers. In total, we collected 22 of such samples during the expedition, which we will use to provide information about the timing of ice sheet recession and thinning in Kronprins Christian Land. Photo: Andrew Sole @theuniversityofsheffield @uniinnsbruck #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #science #research #explorer #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange

1190
3 weeks ago

Crystal Palace (cave ) lies high above the valley floor and yields stunning views looking northwest over Grottedalen. Collecting calcite samples from this cave was one of the main objectives of the expedition. In 2015, we discovered several thick flowstone sequences that we couldn’t sample at the time due to a lack of resources. In 2019, we returned with coring and grinding equipment (courtesy of @hiltiaustria ). These tools were invaluable as they allowed us to cut large sequences down to more manageable size pieces. This meant we only took from the cave what we needed. We were also careful to sample from naturally broken material, where possible. Here, Chris is grinding a sample down into smaller pieces, whilst Gina and Paul are examining a potential sample to assess its suitability for palaeoclimate work. #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange

1690
3 weeks ago

The first third of the expedition was based in the same place as the 2015 expedition. Camp 1 was setup beneath the cave bearing cliffs which would be the focus of the work over the next 3 days. Whilst polar bears are not common in this area, we still took the necessary precautions in terms of camp management. The cook tent was downwind of the sleeping tents at some distance, and we erected an alarmed trip wire fence around the sleeping quarters (seen here ). #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange

1410
3 weeks ago

This years expedition started very similar to the 2015 expedition. The team of 9 flew up the east coast of Greenland in a twin otter crammed full of gear and food needed for the following few weeks. Twin otters are noisy, unpressurised aircraft, which means that it flies fairly low giving a good view of the landscape underneath. On the 4th July after 3 twin otter flights, we landed on the sandy spit of land seen here jutting out into the SW end of Centrum Sø. You can just about make out the landing strip. From here a helicopter transferred us in 5 rounds to camp 1 in Grottedalen. #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange

1140
4 weeks ago

In 2015, we undertook our first @greenland_caves project expedition to Northeast Greenland. That original expedition was full of adventure; it involved flying as far as we could in a twin otter to a tiny landing strip on a sandy spot of land in the middle of nowhere. We inflated a boat and crossed a 20 km wide lake, and then hiked for three days to get to some small seemingly insignificant caves near the top of the world. At the time we didn’t know it would become a recce expedition, and would lead on to years of research. Project leader Prof. Gina Moseley collected samples of cave calcite to use to reconstruct records of past climate change. The pilot data proved highly important, and resulted in a prestigious FWF Start prize, enabling the research to continue for the next 6 years. On July 3rd, 2019, 9 people set off on an interdisciplinary expedition back to 80’N. Over the next few weeks we’ll upload a photo a day, unravelling the story of the expedition and its amazing discoveries. #GreenlandCavesProject #Greenland #pioneerwoman #science #research #explorer #womeninscience #womeninstem #stem #arctic #arcticexploration #exploration #climatechange @uniinnsbruck

1610
4 weeks ago

#Repost from our teams photographer @shonephoto (Robbie Shone ) ・・・ We are in Iceland and heading home following the most unbelievable expedition to northeast Greenland. We discovered so many incredible caves, more than we ever could have imagined, collected great scientific samples of calcite for the Greenland Caves Project, which will hopefully continue to push the boundaries of climate science in Greenland. At -17.1’C one of the caves we found could be the coldest recorded cave in the world! It has been a very long journey to this point and I am incredibly proud of Gina for pulling this all together. @greenland_caves #GreenlandCavesProject

1840
4 weeks ago

The @greenland_caves 2019 expedition to 80’N in Northeast Greenland has now drawn to a close. We had the most amazing time and achieved so much more than we ever could have thought possible. We laughed, we cried. We talked geology, microbes, and climate change. We explored previously undiscovered caves, hiked canyons and scrambled up steep scree slopes taking one step forward and two steps back. We have so many samples that five years is not enough to do all the work. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. The team are the most amazing group of people to work with. Thank you for making this all possible. Front (L-R ): Robbie Shone, Hazel Barton, Paul Töchterle, Gina Moseley Back (L-R ): Chris Blakeley, Adam Igneczi, Andrew Sole, Paul Smith, Pete Hodkinson, Stig Erick Bjerkenås, Hans Christian Sivertsen @greenland_caves @shonephoto @uniinnsbruck #greenlandcavesproject

1580
last month

The team had a great day yesterday. A new area containing numerous previously unexplored caves was discovered via helicopter. The large caves have been found to be brimming with ice crystals. Unfortunately, time is running out for the team as they have only two more days to explore the new sector; the team are already looking forward to their next expedition to return to this wonderful place. Photo by @shonephoto 2015 (Robbie Shone ) #Greenland #GreenlandCaves #climatechange #geography #geology #expedition #exploration #science #research #womeninscience @uniinnsbruck @uibk climate @greenland_caves @petzl_official

900
last month

News from Greenland: The team found what may be perhaps the coldest cave ever discovered. A temperature of -17.1°C was measured in the approximately 100 m long cave. Lots of samples were taken and further investigation starts today. Photo by @shonephoto 2015 (Robbie Shone ) #Greenland #GreenlandCaves #climatechange #geography #geology #expedition #exploration #science #research #womeninscience @uniinnsbruck @uibk climate @greenland_caves @petzl_official

2370
last month

After three successful days of exploring and collecting samples the team is now moving to the second camp for further investigation. Photo by @shonephoto 2015 (Robbie Shone ) #Greenland #GreenlandCaves #climatechange #geography #geology #expedition #exploration #science #research #womeninscience @uniinnsbruck @uibk climate @greenland_caves @petzl_official

1050
4 weeks ago

The camp is set up and they already could collect a lot of calcite samples. Robbie and Paul were able to make a photogrammetry of The Crystal Palace cave and the first stalagmite was drilled. Today the team is going to study some more caves. For breakfast a musk ox family came to say hello to the expedition team. Photo by @shonephoto 2015 (Robbie Shone ) #Greenland #GreenlandCaves #climatechange #geography #geology #expedition #exploration #science #research #womeninscience @uniinnsbruck @uibk climate @greenland_caves @petzl_official

1270
last month

News from the expedition team: They arrived at Danmarkshavn where they already had the first and hopefully the last contact with three polar bears which were passing by close to the weather station. Tomorrow on July the 5th the team is flying one more hour north to the research area. #Greenland #GreenlandCaves #climatechange #geography #geology #expedition #exploration #science #research #womeninscience @uniinnsbruck @uibk climate @greenland_caves @petzl_official

870
last month

Our last night in Iceland before heading north up to Greenland. The sun almost sets at midnight here in Reykjavik, but not quite. #arctic #climatechange #science #research #exploration #expedition @uniinnsbruck

1060
last month

The team are complete and Gina is now leading a meeting in the hotel bar about the plans for the next few days. We are joined by Benjamin who is working with #POLOG , our logistics company based out of Copenhagen. #arctic #climatechange #science #research #exploration #expedition #Greenland #Iceland

570
last month

The team have arrived safely in Reykjavik at the start of this summers expedition up to NE Greenland. Here is a picture taken by team member Hazel Barton of the ocean at 11pm. #arctic #climatechange #science #research #exploration #expedition

900
last month

In just three days time, we depart on an expedition that has been decades in the making. Professor Gina Moseley of the University of Innsbruck and leader of the Greenland Caves Project ( @greenland_caves ) will lead a team of ten scientists including glaciologists, paleo-geochronologists, micro biologist, permafrost experts, explorers, photographers and a medical doctor to study and sample the remote landscape of an area in the northeast corner of Greenland in Kronsprins Christian Land. #Greenland #GreenlandCaves #climatechange #science #research #womeninscience #womeninstem #STEM #expedition #exploration @uniinnsbruck @greenland_caves

1480
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