Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory

University of Wales Svalbard Glacier Survey

With a 10-15cm rise in sea level during the last 100 years, the Arctic has been identified as an area particularly sensitive to future climatic change. This team therefore planned to quantify the volume change of a number of glaciers in the Svalbard archipelago using digital photogrammetry, and compare results with those obtained from traditional methods. Work was carried out from two field sites: Ny Ålesund (between Austre Brøggerbreen and Midre Lovéenbreen) in the north, and at Svea (near Slakbreen) in the south, where a network of high-accuracy GPS points was established to use as ground control. From these, Digital Elevation Models were generated, which will be compared with archived aerial photographs held by the Norsk Polar Institute. Mixed weather with temperatures ranging from above zero to minus 30°C caused inevitable problems with computers and batteries; nevertheless, analysis of the data obtained will occupy the team for several months.

April - May 2002
Andy Pope with Dr Adrian Luckman, and working in conjunction with a party from the University of Leeds