Katie Paterson

Vatnajokull (the sound of )


Sorry, the LIVE phone link is no
longer available. It was part of a week long art exhibit in June 2007.

However, there are sound recordings of the glacier on this page.

You can contact Katie Paterson at the email address shown below.

For information about the Dolphinear equipment used on this project, go to the DolphinEar.com website

Contact Katie:

Katie's website:

This is the Glacial Lake formed by the melting of the Vatnajokull Glacier.
This photo was taken by Katie Paterson in April 2007


Photo and Sound Diary:

These are sent by Katie via mobile phone at the glacier lake:

04 June 2007. Katie Paterson setting up special dolphinear.com equipment that
will captureunderwater sounds of melting and cracking ice and send them to you
via a mobile phone.


05 June 2007. Katie checks another location to see how the hydrophone is picking
up sounds of melting icebergs. Tomorrow is the 'official' start of public access. The
orange case contains the DolphinEar.com equipment that connects the hydrophone
to the mobile telephone. It's quite special because it overcomes the limitations
of poor sound quality and interference normally encountered with mobile phones.


06 June 2007. No luxury hotels here. The accomodations are pretty basic, but the view
is spectacular! All of the icebergs you see floating in the lake have broken off the
Vatnajokull glacier seen in the background. The amount of ice varies as prevailing
winds shift them around the lake.


06 June 2007. View from inside the tent. Temperatures are quite mild for
Iceland. The low tonight is expected to be around 7C with highs during the
day of
12C. Light rain showers are due to clear with sunny skies promised
for tomorrow.


07 June 2007, Tuesday morning 10am. Ice is shifting, it comes in and out with the tide. This lake empties into
the sea through a narrow passage and thus is affected by tides. There are some fish and seals that you can
occasionally see and hear on the hydrophone. Hopefully the low cloud you see here will burn off later in the day
and give us a few hours of sunshine. The phone was jammed yesterday with calls. If you didn't get through
please try again.


07 June 2007, Tuesday evening 7:40 pm. Two seals are very near. We didn't
get any sun today but the winds were light and there wasn't much rain.

Listen to a 1 minute sound sample recorded over the telephone in the UK.

(WAV format)   (MP3 format)
Sorry not working properly with QuickTime


Photo:  George Kavanagh/Stone. Small section of the photo appearing in the Guardian (UK)  8 June 2007 pp 16-17
08 June 2007, Wednesday. Standing on the Vatnajokull Glacier. Two
articles appeared this morning in the Guardian (UK) and in The Scotsman.
The phone has been flooded with calls. If you didn't get through, please try
again. View the Guardian article  Unfortunately, the article did not
mention DolphinEar. DolphinEar's leading edge technlogy and support
have made this incredible art project available to the world.


09 June 2007, Saturday 11am. The glacial lagoon is very peaceful today. The phone is less
busy today, so try again if you didn't get in yesterday. Yesterday it was engaged most of the day
hundreds of calls.


09 June 2007, Saturday 10pm. Finally a nice sunset over the glacier. The days are almost
21 hours long and the nights never get very dark. It's a pleasant evening, quiet with a little
wind, and very beautiful and peaceful. There have been many many calls again today, but
not so hectic as yesterday.


09 June 2007, Saturday 1025pm. Another view of the sunset. A few ducks have landed in the lagoon.


09 June 2007, Saturday 1035pm. A seal just
popped his head up in the distance.


10 June 2007, Sunday 9 pm. The sky has cleared today
and offers us dramatic scenery at sunset. Here are a few
photos taken minutes ago.


10 June 2007, Sunday 9 pm.


10 June 2007, Sunday 9 pm.


10 June 2007, Sunday 9 pm.


12 June 2007.   This is the equipment that we've been using to bring you LIVE sounds from the melting Vatnajokull Glacier. It is
a modified DolphinEar DE500 wireless interface connected to a Nokia mobile telephone.

As you can see there are 4 large gray batteries that have provided power to operate the phone. The DE500 interface is located in
the middle and in the lower left corner you can see part of the Nokia phone which is standing vertically in the waterproof case.
The hydrophone disk and cable plug into a connector on the box.

Once closed, the entire apparatus is watertight - just in case an iceberg floated by and snagged the cable dragging everything along
with it. You'll also notice there is a lot of foam insulation. With temperatures potentially below 0C we wanted to make sure the batteries
and phone stayed as warm as possible to avoid malfunctions.

It all worked fantastically. Setup consisted of finding a good location at the glacial lagoon, tossing in the hydrophone, and turning on the
switch. We didn't need to do anything else for the whole time! Thank You, Dolphinear!


13 June 2007. Last Day:

Calls are still coming in. Over the past 24 hours there has been a lot of publicity in the USA.
Tonight Katie will pull the plug on the Vatnajokull Glacier phone and prepare to head home to the
UK. We aren't sure how many people have dialled in but we should be able to get a count from
Virgin Mobile in a few days. We know that as of the 9th over 1300 calls had been received. Over
the past few days we have been checking which countries the calls were coming from. So far we
have: UK, Germany, USA, Norway, India, Iraq, Russian Federation, Somalia, Estonia, Bahrain,
Cyprus, Sudan, Croatia, Iceland and even Mongolia!

Undoubtedly, there were many more countries since news of this project was spread worldwide by
the BBC World Service, Reuters and many internet news services.

We will post high quality photos and sound clips in the coming days, so please check back.



If you had a chance to listen, we would appreciate your comments. Please send them to
glacier@danxtel.com And, thank you for participating in this project!

PS: several people have asked about the equipment used on this project. It is made by Dolphinear
and you can see more details at their website:

Return to DolphinEar.com website