Sampling of spring water and travertine to determine chemical content and origianl water source.
Water and gas samples were collected for stable isotopic analysis of noble gases, hydrogen, and oxygen from the Jotun and Gyregkjelda Springs, the most northerly land-based thermal springs globally.
This collaboration with Professor Igor Tolstikhin and Alena Kompanchenkon of the Kola Scientific Centre aimed to provide data for estimating transit time in the subsurface hydrodynamic system of the emerging waters, enhancing understanding of the system's dynamics. At the time of the expedition, no published data on noble gas compositions of spring waters in this part of Svalbard were available.
The Kola Institute supplied sealable 200 ml thick glass bottles for gas and water samples, along with a custom padded wooden box arrangement for secure transportation. For water sampling, bottles were submerged, and a thin plastic-coated wire was used to create a small bubble in the bottle. Gas sampling involved submerging a funnel and hose, filling them with water, and collecting the gas until it displaced the water in the bottle. The samples were corked firmly, kept upside down for transportation, and left at the University of Svalbard for shipping to Kola.
Jotun Springs were sampled on August 1st and 2nd, 2019, and Gyregkjelda on August 2nd. Three water samples and one gas sample were taken from Jotun Spring 1JA3, the only flowing and gas-producing Jotun spring. Two water samples were collected from the Gyregkjelda Spring, where no gas was observed.
The samples were sent to Kola for analysis of isotopic tracers such as 3H, 14C, 3He(3H), 4He/20Ne, 21Ne/20Ne, d18O, d2H, 3He/4He, and 3He/20N. These analyses, providing insights into the water residence time and ultimate sources, are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020 for subsequent publication.