Three cruises successfully completed, and one on its way
The summer is over, and the Nansen Legacy can look back at three successfull cruises, despite technical challenges with equipment and the delayed arrival of the new icebreaker R/V Kronprins Haakon. The following work has been conducted:
Cruise #1 (Ocean mixing process study, 27. June - 10. July) with R/V Kristine Bonnevie, under the leadership of Ilker Fer (UiB) and Frank Nielsen (UNIS), addressed objectives of RF1, focusing on ocean mixing and water transformation process studies in the region west and north of Svalbard, with particular focus on the warm Atlantic boundary current. Ocean stratification, current and microstructure measurements were made. Four main sections were taken across the path of the warm West Spitsbergen Current; a fifth section was interrupted by the ice edge extending to shelf at 24E. Profiles were collected at stations along the sections from shelf to deep water as, well as at two repeated stations, each for approximately 24 hours duration. The cruise was completed with a section into Isfjorden. In total 120 CTD (conductivity temperature depth), 106 LADCP (lowered acoustic Doppler current profiler), 200 microstructure profiles and 11.5 days of shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler data were collected.
Cruise track of the Nansen Legacy ocean mixing process study cruise on R/V Kristine Bonnevie.
Cruise #2 (Joint Cruise 1/2, 6.-23. August) with R/V Kronprins Haakon, under the leadership of Randi Ingvaldsen (IMR) and Bodil Bluhm (UiT), addressed objectives of RF1, RF2 and RF3 along the Nansen Legacy transect in open water and within the sea ice. The cruise focused on comparing the state of the physical, chemical and biological conditions in the southern and northern parts of the study area. A total of four process stations (P1, P2, P4, PICE1) were conducted, of which three were one the shelf, while the fourth was a sea ice station in the Nansen Basin (PICE1). Each process station was occupied over a 24-hour period to allow full daily cycle process measurements (i.e. rates), in addition to extensive biodiversity and abundance sampling. Additionally, two process stations in open water on the shelf were conducted with reduced sampling (P3/NLEG07 and P5/NLEG13), as well as three shorter sea ice stations over deep water (SICE1, SICE2 and SICE3), and bathymetric mapping at three mooring locations on the shelf (M1, M2 and M3). Given that this was the first research cruise on R/V Kronprins Haakon, the cruise also focused on testing gear, establishing routines for gear deployments, collaboration, data management and data storage.
Stations sampled on Joint Cruise 1/2 with R/V Kronprins Haakon
Cruise #3 (Physical process cruise, 12.-24. September) with R/V Kronprins Haakon under the leadership of Ilker Fer (UiB) and Frank Nielsen (UNIS) addressed objectives of RF1. The cruise focused on the deployment of oceanographic moorings and gliders, and used AUV, a remotely piloted unmanned aircraft, and controlled meteorological balloons for measurements. Wave sensors were deployed at ice floes from the outer ice edge deeper into the pack ice. In addition, ship-mounted instruments were used to collect underway information on ocean stratification, currents, and microstructure profiles along selected transects across the north Spitsbergen shelf and slope.
Station map of the physical process cruise with R/V Kronprins Haakon
Cruise #4 (Paleo cruise, 26. September - 20. October) with R/V Kronprins Haakon under the leadership of Kathrine Husum (NPI) and Ulysses Ninnemann (UiB) addresses objectives of RF1, RF2 and RF3. The cruise investigates the natural variability, ranges of sea ice cover, and Atlantic water through-flow in the Barents Sea. The cruise will collect different marine geological data, such as multibeam bathymetry and sediment samples from the sea floor along the “Nansen Legacy transect” in the Barents Sea from ca 76N towards to Arctic Ocean (ca 82N).
In addition to the above mentioned cruises, the Nansen Legacy was heavily involved in the testing and preparing R/V Kronprins Haakon for its first scientific missions this summer.