Disko Part 10: Time to leave

It is our last day on Disko Island. We are scheduled to depart our temporary Arctic home later this evening at 6.30pm, on the same Disko Line ferry that brought us here 9 days ago. Whilst we have finished sampling, there is still much to do. Samples need to be packed and dropped off with the shipping company, fieldgear squashed into rucksacks, and goodbyes said. As it happens we are leaving along with the rest of the British contingent staying Arctic Station – Matt the bug man from Stirling who is busy pickling the last of his mosquitoes in ethanol, and the Queen Mary duo packing up their GPR equipment. We say goodbye to Ole, our academic and logistical rock since arriving at the station, and head down to Qeqertarsuaq harbour for the last time.

Disko Island has been an incredible experience, throwing amazing fieldsites, samples, and challenges at us in equal measure. Our objective was to investigate the value of this island in identifying carbon cycles and pathways relevant to understanding the Earth’s mantle and the subsurface biosphere. The samples we have acquired will be valuable to both these fundamental areas, and through our experiences here we have learnt a lot in how best to utilise Disko Island for further work in the future.

The sun sets spectacularly as we leave Disko Island for the mainland, the first leg of our journey home.

The sun sets spectacularly as we leave Disko Island for the mainland, the first leg of our journey home.

This field campaign was made a success by the dedication and capability of the field team out on Disko Island. Many thanks to Sami Mikhail, Mark Fox-Powell, and Casey Bryce, who have also provided most of the photos used in this blog. Lastly, none of this would have happened without funding from the Deep Carbon Observatory and the UK Centre for Astrobiology. We hope to have done this funding justice by providing not just samples for ourselves and the community, but also a wealth of logistical information for anyone wanting to work on Disko Island in the future, and last but not least, outreach material to spread the word about the research coordinated by the DCO.