I think the word team should be used more often to describe science, and this expedition just proved me right on that idea. We have multiple teams onboard: Chemistry, Meteorology, Ice, Hydrology, Technology, and the Summer School. Each of those teams has a team leader, and all of those teams work together. Each team reported on what they have accomplished, and here is our report card for you too!
John Kemp of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, on the Tech team, reported that all 5 ITPs (ice-tethered profilers) deployed during the expedition are already successfully sending data to be analyzed.
Irina Repina of the Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Russia, team leader of the Meteo team, talked about the successful observational study of the boundary layer between the atmosphere and the ocean/sea ice by comparing two different instruments onboard, the MTP-5 (Meteorological Temperature Profiler) and radiosonde weather balloon instruments.
Andrey Masanov of the Arctic Antrarctic Research Institute (AARI) in Russia, and Ice team leader, spoke about the ice observations on the expedition. Ice conditions during the cruise were characterized by the existence of a well-pronounced marginal ice zone (MIZ), which separated zones of consolidated pack ice with 100% concentration and open water areas. This caused specific issues during operation: high seas in the open water and thick heavy ice in the ice zones.
Sergey Kirillov, also from AARI and Hydro team leader, said they had successfully taken 15tons of water samples during the expedition, that the team has been, and will continue to analyze to explore and better understand vertical mixing and heat transport from the Atlantic to the Arctic.
Alice Orlich of the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and instructor of the NABOS Summer School, talked about the ASSIST Sea Ice Observational Program, and successfully leading students in making observations of an ice thickness transect (of course this was a highlight for students, since it involved being on the ice).
Rob Rember, also from IARC and Chem team leader, gave some impressive statistics of the successes of the chemistry team onboard. Over the 116 CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) casts, they were able to take literally thousands of measurements of water samples taken by the CTD – salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, nitrates, methane, dissolved organic matter, chlorophyll, and more. He also shared these colorful and intricate preliminary results, so I can sum it up for you (see below for more details about how this image works – click the image for a larger view).
Imagine getting a cross-section view of the ocean, from surface to sea floor – that it what you see here. You can see the water coming from the St. Anna Trough (from the left), and in the temperature graph, two distinct water masses – the red is the warmer water from the Fram Strait (which connects the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans), and the blue is water from the Barents Sea coming out of the St. Anna Trough. Now look at the Oxygen graph, and notice how the oxygen levels vary for those two water masses – the blue here is the Barents Sea water, which is splitting the Fram Strait water (in pink) into two bands. Now, transmission refers to the percentage of light that reaches a target as it passes through water. Here you can see the water in green has low transmission – it is near the shore and all those particles mixed in the water block more of that laser beam. The take-away message here? Patterns are clear. Next steps? Where is the heat going in the picture – up? Down? To the side? More analysis to come at home!
To be continued with student projects, and my projects too…!