TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Central University (NCU) in a statement on Monday (Aug. 23) celebrated a successful polar expedition by members of its faculty.
The NCU expedition set out for Norway on July 30 and quarantined in Oslo for 10 days, during which all three members passed four PCR tests. On Aug. 11, they finally arrived at Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost settlement of over 1,000 people, which has become a base for arctic research with the establishment of the University Center in Svalbard.
During the six-day trip, the team, led by Earth sciences Professor Hao Kuo-Chen (郭陳澔) first tested data buoys and deployed Taiwan’s first arctic seismometer. Then on Aug. 13, they sailed 100 kilometers to a polar work station to shoot drone footage and conduct field observations, trekking over 10 km of glacier each day with heavy equipment on their backs.
While out in the field, the team could hear loud noises every 10 minutes, signifying the frequent collapse of glaciers, according to Kuo-Chen. He and the others deployed 40 seismometers in total, captured drone footage, and investigated local geology, including an area with an exposed rock formation from the Precambrian era.
The NCU in January announced its plan to form an interdisciplinary arctic expedition in collaboration with Poland’s Nicolaus Copernicus University. The NCU thanked the Nicolaus Copernicus University team as well as the Taiwanese and Polish governments for making the trip possible, saying it plans to publish the research from the expedition at the International Arctic Conference to be held in Poland in November.
Also in January, the NCU welcomed the return of Space Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Lin Ying-tsen (林映岑), who had spent 54 weeks at McMurdo Station, the largest research facility in Antarctica. She is Taiwan’s first female scientist to spend a winter in Antarctica, and she brought back 1,600 hours of lidar observation data.