Freight at last

Phew I can relax again for a day or two, the freight, so long in preparing & getting a price, has at last been taken to Immingham and accepted by our shipping line, Bring International. they have been so good today in helping sort it all out & get paperwork done, so well done Scott & staff, we will not be seeing it again until Svalbard hopefully.

New Grant

The ARG is pleased and proud to announce that they have been given a grant by the Gino Watkins Memorial fund that will cover the outbound freight to Svalbard, a vital element in the overall scheme.  packing of all the goods to be sent from UK is now underway and we expect it to leave for Svalbard by the end of this month.  Our grateful thanks to our referees who gave us such good references to help secure the grant.

Coming to a head

At last things seem to be coming to a head, With the collaboration between the ARG and Professor Andrew Hodson we now have a robust and well planned revised proposal that will see us marrying up with another group, all studying some facet of the Warm Springs of Jotun & Kjell.  In order to minimise the effect on the environment we have now combined our resources regarding transport so we go out on Lance and return on a ship chartered by another group. this will reduce our overall footprint considerably, something with which we are very pleased to be a part.

Charity Boost for 2017 Research Expedition

Only weeks after being registered as a charity the ARG has received a bonus in the form of a gift of shares in a leading UK company that will help fund not only the forthcoming reconnaissance but also the 2017 Expedition.  The Group are delighted with this early response to their recent status update and will be offering an evening of photographs to their latest supporters by way of thanks.

Collaboration between groups guarantees better chance of success

Base camp 96         Flow measuring

1996 Base Camp Bellsund                                             Andy Hodson gauging a sub glacial outflow

The ARG has pleasure in confirming that it will be combining forces with Professor Andrew J Hodson of Sheffield University England for its latest expedition to Svalbard.  Andy is no stranger to the Group, having previously worked with Ian Frearson as part of an international research project in Van-Keulenfjord during the Summer of 1994 and with the ARG 1996 Expedition to Bellsund.  Andy is a Glacial Hydrologist and an Associate with UNIS, the University of Svalbard, based in Longyearbyen.  He has led many research trips into areas of Svalbard and is a well known and respected scientist.  Andy will be co-ordinating with us on our work with the warm springs as well as looking into the hydrology of two pingos.  It is hoped that some of Andy’s students and staff will join and work alongside ARG members on site during 2017.  The Recce, due to take place during August 2016 is well planned with more on site collaboration also programmed to take place.  Photographic and Video referencing is to be undertaken along with preliminary sampling from various sites to allow a better start to be made on the science during the main Expedition in 2017.

Much of the credit for this goes to Prof Hodson for his foresight and desire to be practical as well as well prepared, traits for which he is well known.


Haddon makes light of a snow gulley on the ascent of another new peak

Haddon makes light of a snow gulley on the ascent of another new peak in Peru

The Group has now accepted its final member for the Svalbard expedition to take place in 2017.  George Haddon Winter is an undergraduate at Keele University currently studying Environment and Sustainability.  He is from Aston on Trent and a keen outdoor person.  He left traditional school in the UK to study at an expeditionary-based high school in Colorado, from where he visited mountainous areas in a variety of countries from Norway to Peru.  He is a rock climber, a mountaineer, a kayaker and keen camper.  His youth and enthusiasm combine to provide the ideal combination for his first visit to the High Arctic where he will be part of the team looking into colonisation of recently exposed ground and species distribution in proximity of warm springs, all under the project leadership of Professor Graeme Shaw, also known as George, so will be known as Haddon, his second name, to avoid confusion.

ARG achieve Charity Status

The ARG are pleased to announce that the Group now has charity status and therefore able to maximise on any funding raised.  The whole of the Group’s activities will benefit from this, including the young scientists that form part of the Group’s research expeditions.

Any organisation or individual considering donating towards the Group’s next expedition to Svalbard in 2017 may do so direct into the Group’s bank account, details of which are below and are encouraged to use the gift aid option by filling in a form available on request so ensure tax benefit may be recovered.



Account Name

Arctic Research Group

Barclays Bank  Sort Code 206366   Account ref.  93915891

All donations will be acknowledged if donors details are given and this is important for charity returns.  All donors will automatically receive a copy of the preliminary report for the expedition supported.


Final member for 2017 Expedition

The ARG are seeking one last member to join the Group on their next expedition to north-west Spitsbergen during Summer 2017.

The ARG plans to visit the Bockfjorden area, at almost 80º North. Details of the planned research work may be seen on the Group’s website at The Group’s planned research projects include Ecology, Glaciology, Geology, Meteorites, Pollution and making a full film and photographic record of the projects and the expedition as a whole..

The position would ideally suit someone with some experience in at least one of these fields, preferably the Ecology side, as well as being attuned with outdoor living. A wide experience of camping in severe conditions would be useful as would some experience of mountaineering.

In return for a place on this expedition the successful candidate will get to visit some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of the High Arctic of Svalbard, some of the most northerly land before the North Pole, and will have the opportunity to undertake important and meaningful scientific research.

Applications of interest should be send to the Expedition Leader at [email protected] with details of current academic qualifications and a full C.V.

Conditions of membership participation will be available to all applicants.

2016 Recce now arranged for August

Two members will undertake a recconnaissance of the area to be researched during August 2016.  A flight to and from the site will allow photographs and video to be taken so that a more detailed appraisal of the research projects may be made.  This will reduce the need for recces on foot during the actual expedition and allow more time to be dedicated to research, thus minimising the time required in the area as well as reducing the potential footprint on the fragile tundra.   Coordinatiuon with Norsk Polarinstituttet has provided the transport to and from the research area.   The Group are grateful to the NPi for their part in allowing this.


Meteorites have been referred to as ‘the poor man’s space probe’ for they are our only contact with materials beyond the Earth-Moon system that conveniently come to our planet without any actual effort from ourselves. Rather more inconveniently they can be very difficult to locate due to the randomness of where they land. Very few meteorites are recovered easily as witnessed falls, the vast majority are discovered as finds, having landed at some time in the past i.e. days, weeks, years, millennia etc. 

As one can imagine, searching for finds is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Fortunately the dynamics of moving ice can help to shepherd meteorites into relatively predictable search areas. This process has been successfully proven in Antarctica since the 1970’s – making the icy continent an extremely fruitful harvest area – sometimes funnelling meteorites from hugely varying impact dates into a relatively small search area, thanks to the effect of the moving ice and ablation over vast time periods. As a testimony to this, around 70% of the global total of known meteorites have been located in Antarctica.

Although the Arctic climate is regarded as wetter, it is intended to use some of the same search techniques that have been used in Antarctica. To this end we have identified a potential search area at approximately 79.3000ºN 13.4250ºE. An extension to this will be exploring the possibilities of meteorite deposition following glacial retreat – Karlsbreen being an area of particular interest.

Search methods will be a combination of visual (often generating the best results) and the use of magnetometers as all 3 types of meteorite – stony, iron and stony-iron – contain some ferrous material. It will then be possible to conduct field tests on suspect finds with confirmation and classification carried out in the UK

GPS co-ordinates will be taken of any finds, although this will only be for record purposes and future searches. None of the finds will be regarded as being in-situ of their original landing site.