ARCEx Early Career Forum 3.0: Svalbard

The third ECF of ARCEx researchers had a great turnout of nearly all Post Doc and PhD candidates. Gathering in the High Arctic of Svalbard at 78 degrees North from September 14th-16th, the forum was slightly longer than earlier ECF’s. We had three productive Open Session workshops. The first included working on communicative skills with a focus on building conference posters and presenting research to an audience of mixed levels and backgrounds, while the second workshop was a brief geological history of Svalbard and some of the recent outcrop modelling techniques used at UNIS. The final session prior to departure was a discussion on future oil development and the Svalbard Treaty.

A one-day field excursion was planned to Deltaneset where the Mesozoic succession can be observed and represents a direct analogue to the Barents Shelf petroleum system, however there were two familiar polar bears in this area, so we had to adjust our schedule slightly. Instead, we stayed within the Longyearbyen area and visited several unique localities. One stop along the trip highlighted the recent uplift of the archipelago, where whale bones and mummified clams (dated at 10 ka) rest in situ at 60 meters above sea level. The next locality was an old Store Norske well bore had been leaking small amounts gas for several decades and is now sealed with a valve. Our field trip ended with a tour through Mine 3, where the group seemed to have gained a new appreciation for the physical labor from an earlier era of coal mining.

Overall, the group discussions and constructive collaborations across work packages during this ECF 3.0 strengthened our group and the ARCEx identity as a whole. The next ECF location and topic was discussed over dinner, and is surely one that is not to be missed.

Text and image by Tyler Appleyard.