Starting March 2011 the Catlin Seaview Survey ran for a period of 8 weeks and comprised of two principle parts. The ‘Catlin Ice Base’, which was a stationary scientific research base located off the northern coast of Canada; and the ‘Explorer Team’, comprising of a small long-range specialist team moving on foot from close to the North Geographic Pole towards Greenland.

Ice Base

The Catlin Ice Base consisted of temporary polar shelters and tents erected on the sea ice off the coast of Ellef Ringnes Island, Nunavut, Canada, 78°46’27” N / 104°42’49” W. Here a group, of up to 10 scientists and operational staff, were able to collect and analyse samples from under the sea ice as well as deploy heavier instrumentation up to a depth of 200 metres.


The Explorer Team consisted of a 4-person sledging party that skied across approximately 308 miles of sea ice over two separate phases. The first phase started from the east coast of Borden Island to the Catlin Ice Base and the second phase started 100 miles south of the North Geographic pole at 88°19’37” N /137°41’13” W heading towards the north coast of Greenland. En-route they undertook a daily science routine collecting data and deploying scientific instruments through holes drilled in the sea ice up to a depth of 300 metres. The entire journey was filmed with the intention to make it into a documentary.


© John Plumer


© Catlin Arctic Survey