Show cover of Polar Podcasts

Polar Podcasts

In Polar Podcasts, you'll hear stories from geologists who've spent their careers - their lives - exploring and studying the remarkable and remote geology of Greenland. Why did they become fascinated with Greenland? What were the problems and the discoveries that drove them? And what was it like working in these remote places, where few people venture - even now?

Tracks

31: Allen Nutman: A lifelong love of making geological maps
In this last episode of Polar Podcasts, we hear more from Allen Nutman, Professor of Geology at the University of Wollongong in Australia, about his lifelong passion for making geological maps, focused particularly on the Nuuk region, where he has spent decades mapping some of the oldest rocks in the world.
15:05 1/26/21
30: Bjørn Thomassen: Chasing gold in wild weather, North-West Greenland
In this episode, we hear more from Bjørn Thomassen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about facing severe storms while following up on gold anomalies on Kiatak – Northumberland Island – in northwest Greenland.
17:42 1/19/21
29: Kent Brooks: Mantle xenoliths and dislocated shoulders
In this episode we hear more from Kent Brooks, emeritus Professor at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, about the chance discovery of an unusual rock he picked up in East Greenland that led to years of productive research about the nature of the Earth’s mantle far beneath the Earth’s surface.
11:12 1/12/21
28: Bjørn Thomassen: Encounters with animals while prospecting for lead-zinc in east Greenland
In this episode, we hear more from Bjørn Thomassen, Emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about some of his experiences with wildlife around Flemming Fjord, in central East Greenland, while prospecting for barium, lead and zinc.
12:48 1/5/21
27: Agnete Steenfelt – From geochemical exploration to a Greenland-wide geochemical map
In this episode, we hear more from Agnete Steenfelt, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about developing the Greenland-wide geochemical sampling into a regional geochemical map of the whole island – a culmination of over 30 years work.
10:54 12/29/20
26: Bjørn Thomassen – Stalked by a polar bear in East Greenland
In this episode we hear more from Bjørn Thomassen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about a close encounter with a polar bear while on field work in east Greenland.
10:58 12/22/20
25: Brian Upton: Working in remote Northeast Greenland
In this episode, we hear more from Brian Upton, Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh, about his expeditions to Northeast and North Greenland with the Geological Survey of Greenland, in environments in stark contrast to where he had been working in South Greenland.
09:21 12/15/20
24: Allen Nutman – “Faraway places with unpronounceable names” – dating Greenland’s ancient rocks
In this episode, we hear more from Allen Nutman, Professor of Geology at the University of Wollongong in Australia, about his work on dating some of the oldest rocks in the world, in the Isua supracrustal belt, close to the inland ice in the Nuuk region.
25:38 12/8/20
23: Bjørn Thomassen: Vertical fieldwork – exploring the niobium-tantalum-enriched Motzfeldt Intrusion
In this episode we hear more from Bjørn Thomassen, emeritus senior scientist, about his first job working for the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, running a field program to study the niobium- and tantalum-enriched Motzfeldt Intrusion in South Greenland.
18:20 12/1/20
22: Bjørn Thomassen – Mining the Black Angel
In this episode, we hear more from Bjørn Thomassen, emeritus senior scientist from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about his time working as a geologist and later a mine inspector at the Black Angel lead zinc mine in west Greenland.
24:11 11/24/20
21: Niels Henriksen: Reaching remote western North Greenland – mapping the Thule region
In this episode, we hear more from Niels Henriksen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about geological mapping in remote western North Greenland in the mid 1980s.
14:23 11/17/20
20: Allen Nutman: “What if the boundary is folded?” – figuring out the structure of Earth’s ancient crust
In this episode, we hear more from Allen Nutman, Professor of Geology at the University of Wollongong in Australia, about how his mapping work together with Vic McGregor and Clark Friend led to the beginnings of a model for how the ancient rocks in the Nuuk region were formed as a series of distinct small continents that collided with each other about 2.7 billion years ago.
14:08 11/10/20
19: Kent Brooks: “Nanoq! Nanoq!” Close encounters with polar bears in East Greenland
In this episode we hear more from Kent Brooks, emeritus Professor at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, about his encounters with polar bears while on geological field work in East Greenland. 
13:08 11/3/20
18: Agnete Steenfelt – The beginnings of systematic geochemical exploration of Greenland
In this episode, we hear more from Agnete Steenfelt, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about introducing a program of stream sediment sampling to surveys in East Greenland in the mid-1970s – a program that would ultimately grow to decades of work and tens of thousands of samples covering almost the entirety of Greenland.
13:18 10/27/20
17: Allen Nutman: “Paired for life” – the beginning of a career mapping the oldest rocks in the world
In this episode we hear from Allen Nutman, Professor of Geology at the University of Wollongong in Australia, about his early years working as a field assistant in Greenland while studying geology at Exeter University, which led him to work for the Geological Survey of Greenland and later, to life-long research collaborations with two other geologists, particularly focused on some of the oldest rocks on Earth.
18:04 10/20/20
16: Kent Brooks: Discovering gold in the Skaergaard intrusion
In this episode, we hear more from Kent Brooks, Emeritus Professor at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen. After a sabbatical working in Papua New Guinea in the mid-1980s, Kent returned to working in East Greenland and the next phase in the story of understanding the Skaergaard intrusion – discovering gold .
18:51 10/13/20
15: Agnete Steenfelt – Exploring for uranium in East Greenland in the 1970s
In this episode, we hear from Agnete Steenfelt, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about how she started out with the Geological Survey of Greenland in 1972 exploring for uranium – the beginnings of what would become a career that brought modern geochemical mapping and exploration to Greenland 
11:30 10/6/20
14: Bjørn Thomassen – One Man Expedition in East Greenland
In this episode we hear from Bjørn Thomassen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about his one man expedition in East Greenland while working for the Nordic Mining Company in 1973, an expedition that subsequently resulted in extensive exploration for copper. 
09:28 9/29/20
13: Kent Brooks: “Mayday, mayday, mayday, helicopter going down”
In this episode, we hear from Kent Brooks, Emeritus Professor at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, about a very close call while working for a mineral exploration company in East Greenland in the early 1970s.
08:18 9/22/20
12: Niels Henriksen – Mapping remote, uninhabited eastern North Greenland
In this episode, we hear more from Niels Henriksen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about geological mapping in the most inaccessible part of Greenland – north Greenland – in the mid to late 1970s.
13:51 9/15/20
11: Bjørn Thomassen and Kent Brooks: The discovery of the Flammefjeld porphyry molybdenum deposit
In this episode, we hear from Kent Brooks, emeritus Professor at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, and Bjørn Thomassen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about the summers of 1970 and 71 working for the Nordic Mining Company in East Greenland, when they discovered Flammefjeld, a spectacular red and yellow mountain that hides a buried mineral deposit, still undrilled fifty years later.
21:44 9/8/20
10: Niels Henriksen: Mapping the Caledonian Fold Belt – the Alps of East Greenland
In this episode, we hear more from Niels Henriksen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about his years spent mapping the Caledonian Fold Belt, an ancient mountain belt in remote parts of northeast Greenland.
14:17 9/1/20
09: Kent Brooks: Earliest drilling of the remarkable Skaergaard layered intrusion
In this episode, we hear more from Kent Brooks – Emeritus Professor at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen – about the Skaergaard Intrusion, which he first encountered on a geological expedition in 1966, and which was to become the focus of his long career working in east Greenland. About his move away from Oxford to Copenhagen, forays into studying the unique geology of south Greenland, and being drawn back to east Greenland where his research interests would be firmly rooted for the decades ahead.
20:51 8/25/20
08: Brian Upton: Beginnings of understanding plate tectonics, “a hell of an exciting time!”
In this episode, we hear more from Brian Upton, Professor of geology at the University of Edinburgh, about his early years as a researcher when the theory of plate tectonics was being developed, his time at Caltech, in Iceland, La Reunion, and his experiences on returning to Greenland investigating plate tectonic links between in northwest Greenland and Arctic Canada.
12:44 8/18/20
07: Niels Henriksen: Lifting the ‘iron curtain’ on geological mapping in Northeast Greenland
In this episode, we hear more from Niels Henriksen, emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about the late 1960s, when the survey embarked on an ambitious and very successful campaign of systematic geological mapping in remote east Greenland, a completely different undertaking from their work on the west coast. 
15:10 8/18/20
06: Kent Brooks – The Plane Crash
In this episode, we hear from Kent Brooks, Emeritus Professor at the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, about a chance discovery while on a geological expedition to east Greenland in 1966, the implications of which followed him over forty years.
13:57 8/11/20
05: Brian Upton: Mapping the unusual alkaline rocks of the Gardar Province
In this episode, we hear more from Brian Upton, Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Edinburgh, about working on the unusual alkaline igneous rocks of the Gardar Province in in South Greenland in the 1950s and later.
16:21 8/11/20
04: Bjørn Thomassen: ‘Taken in’ – the beginnings that led to 42 summers exploring Greenland
In this episode we hear from Bjørn Thomassen, Emeritus senior scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, about what drew him to Greenland and kept him coming back for 42 summers, working as an economic geologist and mineral prospector.
10:46 8/11/20
03: Kent Brooks: The kindling of a 50-year career studying East Greenland
In this episode we hear from Kent Brooks, Emeritus Professor from the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, about how his fifty year career studying the geology of Greenland, was kindled. And about his first – very memorable – field season in east Greenland in 1965.
18:48 8/4/20
02: Brian Upton: “Ilimaussaq is magic” – beginnings of a lifelong passion for alkaline rocks
In this episode, we hear from Brian Upton, Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Edinburgh, about starting out in South Greenland with the Geological Survey of Greenland in 1955, and what became a lifelong passion for researching and understanding the unique rare earth element-rich rocks of the Gardar Province, on which Brian would become a world expert, still publishing his research on their remarkable geology more than 60 years later.
15:21 8/4/20

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