CHAQ 2019/20

Thawing permafrost may affect the historical remains of the first Swedish Antarctic Expedition, conducted in 1901–1903. Now, the Argentine-Swedish research expedition CHAQ 2020 will collect archaeological data that will, among other things, result in actions that can help preserve this cultural heritage.

CHAQ 2020 aims to:

  • Collect data for the research project CHAQ – Creating Cultural Heritage in Antarctica
  • Contribute to the conservation work of the first Swedish Antarctic Expedition
  • Make the historical remains available through virtual reality and 3D presentations
  • Make a documentary about CHAQ 2020 and the effects of climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Contribute with material to an exhibition about the expedition at the Argentinean research station Esperanza

Collaborations, participants and financing

  • The research expedition is a collaboration between Argentina and Sweden and is led by Dr Pablo Fontana, Head of Unit for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Argentine Antarctic Institute.
  • Professor Dag Avango, Luleå University of Technology/Royal Institute of Technology is PI for CHAQ 2020 and leads the Swedish team.
  • Kati Lindström, researcher in History at the Royal Institute of Technology is responsible for documentary filming and ethnographic work. She is funded by the Swedish Research Council.
  • Gunnar Almevik, Professor at the Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg, is responsible for building conservation issues and related documentation. He goes on behalf of the Swedish National Heritage Board.
  • Jonathan Westin, research coordinator and Associate Professor of Conservation at the Centre for Digital Humanities, University of Gothenburg. Jonathan Westin is responsible for drone-based photogrammetry, laser scanning and VR documentation. He goes on behalf of the Swedish National Heritage Board.
  • Lize-Marie van der Watt, researcher in History at the Royal Institute of Technology, leads the research project that developed the theoretical framework on which the expedition is based. She is financed by the Swedish Research Council and while she cannot participate in the fieldwork itself, she has been involved in the organisation.

Where is the research expedition conducted?

The expedition will take place in western Antarctica on the Antarctic Peninsula. Research will be conducted in the area around the house on the island of Snow Hill, which is close to the Argentine research station Marambio and in the area around Esperanza research station, as well as on Paulet island.

Support by Swedish Polar Research Secretariat

The Polar Research Secretariat support with:

  • Field equipment such as sleeping bags, VHF radio, compasses, GPS, solar panels, satellite phones and a weather station
  • Medical examination before the expedition
  • A field course with a review of the technical equipment and training on living and working in fields in Antarctica
  • Some clothing for fieldwork

Fast facts

26 December 2019 to February 2020

Antarctic Peninsula

Type of expedition: Landbased

Nations: 2 (Sweden and Argentine)

Participants: 6

Institutions: 4

Research Leader: Pablo Fontana and Dag Avango

Our support

Fieldcourse and education on technical equipment

Field equipment

Medical examination before the expedition

Clothing for field work