A fundamental aspect of DEEP PURPLE is the large fieldwork component of the project, combining field observations and experiments with real time measurements and collection of samples for laboratory analyses. Four seasons of fieldwork in Greenland are planned, over the course of which we will spend time at several field sites. This will help us understand if the combination of physical, geochemical and biological processes previously found to cause surface darkening at Site S6, east of Kangerlussuaq, occur over other parts of the ice sheet.

Following successful pilot fieldwork near Tasiilaq in 2019, in 2020 and 2021 we spent time at a site in the south of the ice sheet, near Narsarsuaq, where it is warmer and there is a longer melt season. In 2022 we visited two field sites: first, back to the same site near Narsarsuaq for a brief field campaign in May-June and then to a new site further north near Ilulissat for a longer field season in July-August. In 2023,  we conducting ice sampling on the ice cap and the ice sheet margin in the vicinity of Qaanaaq which focussed on the nutrient status of the ice and microbial sampling across a range of different dark ice types.