Disko Part 2. Finding our feet, but not our sample box

Our first full day on Disko starts with a trip into town. We are on the hunt for our sample box that was shipped out from Edinburgh prior to our arrival, and frustratingly has yet to turn up at Arctic Station despite officially having been ‘delivered’. This box contains most of our sample equipment and environmental meters, and until it arrives we are unable to collect samples for biological analysis. Qeqertarsuaq (Godhavn) is not a big town, and a combination of broken English, Danish, and random hand-waving sends us on a trail that starts at the local food store, down to the harbour depot, and finally to the post office. However, sadly our box is nowhere to be found. Thankfully, Ole (the manager of Arctic Station) comes to our rescue and fires off a series of phone calls to local cargo companies in an attempt to locate our much-needed box. The bad news is, our sample box is not yet on Disko Island. The good news is that the box is not completely lost and has been traced to a depot in Copenhagen, and apparently will be with us on Tuesday. With this semi-good result, we prepare to head into the field for our first scout of nearby sampling sites.

Qeqertarsuaq

The harbour at Qeqertarsuaq

With our biological sampling of hot springs on hold, we decide to focus the next four days on sampling the basaltic lava units that make up the majority of Disko Island. There are a number of interesting and unusual basaltic lithologies nearby to Arctic Station, ranging from hydrothermally-altered basalts, to lava flows high in titanium, and basalts bearing native iron. With half the day gone, we take a trip up to the nearest mountain (Scarvefjeld/Ivnarssuaq), which is made up of multiple horizontal lava flows, and scope out sampling areas for tomorrow.

Top: View of Scarvefjeld from the south. Bottom: Geological map showing the two major basaltic units (green and purple), both part of the Maligât Formation.

Top: View of Scarvefjeld from the south. Bottom: Geological map showing the two major basaltic units (green and purple), both part of the Maligât Formation.

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