Svalbard expedition 2015, videos

This summer 2015 video is from just before the big Dutch expedition to Svalbard. In this video, there is an interview with Piet Oosterveld. He was in Svalbard in 1968 as well, and tells about an attack by a polar bear then.

In this video, there are interviews with expedition participants.

This video is about traces of oil exploration in the 1980s, which can still be found in Svalbard.

This video shows the return of three expedition participants to Kapp Lee on Edgeøya island, where they were in 1968-1969 as well.

This video shows beautiful images by cameran Ruben Kocx in Svalbard.

This video is about research on Edgeøya island about springtails, fungi, etc.

This video shows the return of the scientists to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard. They have found bones of whales, reindeer, etc.

This video is also about the return to Longyearbyen.

This video is about polar bear excrement, which will be studied.

This video shows various sides of the expedition.

This video is from Ny-Ålesund on Spitsbergen: visit by Dutch minister of foreign affairs, and a seal.

This video is about tourism in Svalbard, like the Longyearbyen camping ground.

Svalbard weather station working well

This August 2015 Dutch video is about meteorologist Peter Kuipers Munneke and others installing an unmanned weather station on a glacier in the eastern part of Spitsbergen island in the Svalbard archipelago.

Peter Kuipers Munneke told Dutch NOS TV today that the station is working well. Even though there has been a snow storm. And it is now polar night, meaning the solar panels don’t work, and batteries have to provide the energy.

A few days ago, it was 24 degrees Celsius below zero at the station.

380-million-year old tropical forest discovery in Svalbard

This video from the USA says about itself:

Devonian forest

4 November 2013

This scene is excerpted from the Colorado Geology: Devonian-Mississippian video (in progress). These trees are the Progymnosperm Archaeopteris, and the forest floor includes Racophyton. Major soils did not develop until the first trees evolved on land.

From Geology:

Lycopsid forests in the early Late Devonian paleoequatorial zone of Svalbard

Christopher M. Berry and John E.A. Marshall


The Middle to early Late Devonian transition from diminutive plants to the first forests is a key episode in terrestrialization. The two major plant groups currently recognized in such “transitional forests” are pseudosporochnaleans (small to medium trees showing some morphological similarity to living tree ferns and palms) and archaeopteridaleans (trees with woody trunks and leafy branches probably related to living conifers).

Here we report a new type of “transitional” in-situ Devonian forest based on lycopsid fossils from the Plantekløfta Formation, Munindalen, Svalbard. Previously regarded as very latest Devonian (latest Famennian, 360 Ma), their age, based on palynology, is early Frasnian (ca. 380 Ma). In-situ trees are represented by internal casts of arborescent lycopsids with cormose bases and small ribbon-like roots occurring in dense stands spaced ∼15–20 cm apart, here identified as Protolepidodendropsis pulchra Høeg. This plant also occurs as compression fossils throughout most of the late Givetian–early Frasnian Mimerdalen Subgroup.

The lycopsids grew in wet soils in a localized, rapidly subsiding, short-lived basin. Importantly, this new type of Middle to early Late Devonian forest is paleoequatorial and hence tropical. This high-tree-density tropical vegetation may have promoted rapid weathering of soils, and hence enhanced carbon dioxide drawdown, when compared with other contemporary and more high-latitude forests.

Brünnich’s guillemots, Svalbard and the Netherlands

This video shows a Brünnich’s guillemot, on 29 July 2012, near Lauwersoog in the Netherlands. This Arctic bird is very rare in the Netherlands.

The recent Dutch Svalbard expedition went to the biggest Brünnich’s guillemot nesting colony of the archipelago: Stellingfjellet, with about 100,000 nests. There, young fledgling birds were then jumping off the cliffs to the sea, often accompanied by their fathers.

Birds and whales seen during Svalbard expedition

This video is called Ortelius, polar bear, Svalbard June 2015.

This morning, Dutch Vroege Vogels radio broadcast an interview with participants in the big Dutch Svalbard expedition who had counted birds from the expedition ship Ortelius.

They did not only see birds, but also cetaceans; including fin whale, minke whale and white-beaked dolphin.

Among the bird species counted were Atlantic puffins, fulmars, kittiwakes, glaucous gulls, ivory gulls, little auks and Brünnich’s guillemots.

Svalbard expedition, another wildlife update

This video is about birds in Svalbard in July 2014, including eider ducklings, Arctic tern, black guillemot and long-tailed duck.

Peter Kuipers Munneke, participant in the big Dutch Svalbard expedition, reports today about researchers going by boat from Edgeøya island to Barentsøya island. There, they investigated a lakelet which had not been in contact with sea water for thousands of years.

More on the lakelet research, about botanical changes, by Lineke Woelders: here.

Marieke Borst, another participant, blogged on 23 August 2015 (translated):

Here I see them, the birdwatchers. This expedition has brought many of them here. Amid the most spectacular scenery they focus their binoculars on northern fulmars, kittiwakes, pink-footed geese, glaucous gulls, Brünnich’s guillemots and ivory gulls.

On 22 August 2015, Ms Borst reported about seeing a ringed seal (see also here), an Arctic fox and reindeer on Edgeøya.

Svalbard polar bears: here.

Svalbard expedition animals news update

This video says about itself:

15 November 2012

Extremely Rare White Whale Spotted Off The Coast Of Spitsbergen

That was a humpback whale.

Translated from a blog post today by Ms Liesbeth Noor, a participant in the big Dutch Svalbard expedition:

The first day [near Edgeøya island] (last Thursday, August 20th), we immediately spotted a polar bear (from the ship and far away), which meant we were not allowed to land. In the afternoon there was a number of whales in sight, fin, humpback and sei whale. Two came quite close, the rest you had to see with binoculars.

I’ve on Friday joined a day of field work by the team of archaeologists. That meant taking sand samples around a hut of Pomors. Those were Russian seafarers around 200 years ago who had a cabin on the west coast of Edgeøya (just around the corner from where the four Dutch students wintered in 1968, three of these gentlemen are with us now too).

Translated from a blog post by participant Nienke Beintema, about 21 August 2015:

Some researchers counted the seals and collected their droppings. Others took water samples. …

Brünnich’s guillemots overhead, pink-footed geese, a pomarine skua.

Translated from a blog post by Nienke Beintema, about 20 August 2015:

And beneath flat rocks [on the east coast of Spitsbergen island], the scientists found a dozen species of mites and springtails. Which are preserved for genetic research. Are these the same species as on the warmer west coast of Spitsbergen?