Application for Grant Aid

Submitted on: 28 Feb 2018


Expedition details (GPF2018a-008)

Expedition Name (& Club): EAst GREenland 18 (EAGRE 18) (N/A)
Country: Greenland
Region: Wegener Halvø
Leader: Dr Gina Moseley
Lat: 71.737867 Long: -22.498702 Elevation: 53 m

MEF funding: none
Expedition dates: 1st Aug 2018 - 31st Aug 2018
Duration (days): 31
Man-days in field: 68 Man-days travelling: 56
Brief Expedition objectives:

List a short summary of the main Expedition objectives.

EAGRE 18 aims to explore the Wegener Halvø peninsula of East Greenland for the purpose of searching for caves. The peninsula is known to be karstified, and potential cave entrances have been photographed, but these potential sites have never been investigated. We will investigate these known sites, as well as search for new ones. All find will be explored, documented, photographed and surveyed. Where deposits such as speleothem or sediments are discovered, pilot samples will be collected for analysis. Whilst scientific research may form part of the expedition, this will not be the primary purpose, which will be exploration. Another aim of the expedition will be to engage with Inuit communities and teach them rock climbing skills.
How can the GPF support your Expedition?:

Please explain the aspects of the trip which make it eligible for Ghar Parau funding.

GPF is the leading grant-giver for British caving expeditions, supporting those who push the boundaries of British caving and exploration in far-flung places. At present, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find financial support for exploration-driven expeditions, as bodies such as NGS now only support hypothesis-driven projects. For EAGRE 18 to get underground and promote British caving, we are desperately in need of financial support. The cost of the expedition has been reduced as much as possible to the bare minimum, but still it is expensive to work in the Arctic. This will be the first dedicated caving expedition to this region, thus for it to happen, financial support is greatly appreciated.
Detailed description of objectives:

Give a more detailed account of the purpose of the trip, including any particular known caves you intend to visit, specific areas where you will explore for new cave, and scientific experiments you will attempt.

Building on a successful pioneering pilot study led by Moseley, this project seeks to further explore Greenland’s limestone terrain in search of caves in a new region that has not yet been explored in detail. Geologically the region contains two thick carbonate sequences, the highly karstified Karstryggen Formation and the Wegener Halvø Formation. Though the region is not fully explored, Steven Andrews (formerly of CASP, now of the Camborne School of Mines) documented cave-like features as well as a resurgence that flows year-round. He did not explore the potential caves, so their extent and content remain an enticing mystery.

Four people will be part of the expedition to take place during the summer of 2018 to the Wegener Halvø peninsula in East Greenland. The four members will comprise the expedition leader (Moseley), photographer Robbie Shone, Chris Blakeley as an experienced expeditioner and rigging expert, plus sailor, climatologist and mountain guide, Dario Schwoerer. In teaming up with Dario and the Top to Top Global Climate expedition (toptotop.org), we will sail to Greenland in Pachamama, thus having an old-style adventure and reducing our carbon footprint (as well as the cost by removing the use of helicopters and charter flights).

The expedition will take place between early July to late August, 2018, but will need to be fully flexible because of yearly differences in pack-ice extent and timing. The boat will sail from Akureyri, Iceland, to Grimsey Island and on to Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland, and then the Wegener Halvø Peninsula. Allowing for flexibility in weather and sea conditions, this journey could take up to one week. Whilst the main expedition is in the field, Schwoerer’s family will remain in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland, engaging with the local community and working with school children.

Two weeks will be spent on the Wegener Halvø peninsula, giving the team ample time to fully explore the peninsula, before returning. Base camp will be set up in a central location from which day trips will be made to explore the limestone for caves and also visit known cave sites. Technical rope expertise may be required to enter the caves if located in a cliff face. A generator will be required at base camp to charge batteries for cameras and drills. All caves will be documented and photographed to a high standard and reported in a published book (similar to http://northeastgreenlandcavesproject.com/expedition-report/). Where deposits are discovered that may be of use for palaeoclimate research, pilot samples will be collected, which will be analysed at the University of Innsbruck. The intention is that a full-scale scientific research expedition may take place at a later date, but in this first instance, the area needs to be fully explored for caves.

Following the research-based part of the expedition, team members will spend up to a week undertaking community engagement with Inuit communities along the east coast. This will build on prior work of ToptoTop during August 2017 in which Inuit children were taught rock climbing skills (https://toptotop.org/2017/08/13/pilot-project-with-inuit-kids/).

The expedition leader wishes to provide the widest possible access to the work of the project for both the general public and the scientific community. The sister project, Northeast Greenland Caves, incorporated a large public outreach element. Online this consists of a website (www.northeastgreenlandcavesproject.com) and 22,000+ social media following (instagram, twitter, Facebook). For this project, the website and social media feeds will be updated and rebranded to reflect the new EAGRE 18 project, its members and scientific goals. In addition, professional photographer Robbie Shone (www.shonephotography.com) will join the expedition. He has an impressive CV including National Geographic, GEO, Science Illustrated, European Space Agency, which will additionally ensure good publicity of the project through popular science magazines. Throughout the sister project, Shone’s material was invaluable for engaging the public. The interesting story, high-quality photos, and large social media following have been attractive to the media, thus generating features on many news websites and even radio. The P.I. has also given 11 public lectures.

General rules for working in Greenland are outlined by the Government of Greenland Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum (https://www.govmin.gl/images/stories/minerals/rules_for_fieldwork.pdf). This includes: (1) general provisions which apply to all field work; (2) telecommunication; (3) fuel in the field; (4) camps in the field; (5) waste in the field; (6) contingency planning, and; (7) reporting of results, all of which will be communicated to the expedition participants. Permission to undertake the fieldwork will be required from the Greenland Mineral Licence and Safety Authority (MLSA).
Previous work in this area:

Give details of any previous work in this area by your own and other teams. Include references to reports and articles published on the area, and the names of any local cavers or academics with whom you have discussed the Expedition.

Limited work has been achieved in this area, but it is known that the area is karstified

Scholle, P.A., Stemmerik, L., Ulmer-Scholle, D., Liegro, G.D. and Henk, F.H. 1993. Palaeokarst-influenced depositional and diagenetic patterns in Upper Permian carbonates and evaporites, Karstryggen area, central East Greenland. Sedimentology, 40, 895–918. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3091.1993.tb01368.x
Total UK cavers: 3
Total non UK cavers: 1
Total Cavers: 4
Alex Pitcher nominations: 0

Expedition Finances

Travel

Travel plans:
GM and RS - Travel Innsbruck to Keflavik to Akureyri

CB - Travel Lyon to Keflavik to Akureyri

GM, RS and CB meet DS (and family) in Akureyri. Sail to Grimsey Island. Wait for appropriate sailing conditions. Sail to Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland (leave family in Ittoqqortoormiit). GM, RS, CB, DS continue sailing to Wegener Halvø Peninsula.

Return is reverse of above


# from UK: 0 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from UK: £0 N/A

# from outside UK: 4 Travel costs breakdown (for personnel leaving from the UK):
Total costs from outside UK: £13,200 £2,400 = 3x Europe to Keflavik return
£800 = 3 x Keflavik to Akureyri return (incl. excess baggage)
£10,000 = diesel and insurance of boat for 1 month

Travel total: £13,200 Travel p.p. from UK: £0
Travel p.p. from outside UK: £3,300

Subsistence

Total: £4,570 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £1,143 £850 = Accommodation in Akureyri 3 persons, 4 nights. Other nights will be spent on boat.

£3,720 = £30 per day * 31 days * 4 people (Food is expensive in the Arctic)

Gear

Total: £2,425 Comments:
Subsistence p.p.: £606 £1,300 = 2 terra nova quasars (£650 each)
£800 = EU Honda 10i generator
£90 = Emergency shelter
£120 = MSR dragonfly stove
£115 = MSR flex 4 system

Special 1

Total: £5,500 Comments:
Special 1 p.p.: £1,375 £4,000 = Logistics organisation
£500 = satellite phone rental and calls
£500 = firearm hire and ammunition
£500 = freight
Exped Total: £25,695 Exped cost p.p. travelling from UK: £0
Exped cost p.p. travelling from outside UK: £6,423
Mean Exped cost per person: £6,423

Other Funding

Total: £17,000 Comments:
Applied for:

£2000 = Mount Everest Foundation
£2000 = Transglobe Expedition Trust
£3000 = BCRA CSTRF
£10000 = Petzl

Note: National Geographic rejected this application because of its pure exploration nature, thus a large grant is not possible from them
Total shortfall: £8,695 Mean shortfall per person: £2,173

Referees and Report

Please give the names, addresses and phone numbers of two suitably qualified people whom the Committee can contact. You should ensure that they are aware of the objectives of your trip, and that you have their permission for the Committee to contact them.

Referee 1: Prof. Paul Smith
Affiliation: Museum of Natural History, Uni

Reason: Paul Smith was formerly an active caver. He is very family with the caves in Greenland, and is also familiar with the Wegener Halvo Peninsula.

Permission obtained?: Yes
Referee 2: Dr Steven Andrews
Affiliation: Camborne School of Mines

Reason: Steven discovered the cave entrances and is familiar with the area. Phone number unknown (https://emps.exeter.ac.uk/csm/staff/sa678)

Permission obtained?: Yes

Expedition report author: Gina Moseley

Attachments

GPF-Map.pdf