Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Polarstern launches 25th Arctic expedition

11.06.2010
Research in Greenland Sea, Fram Strait and Baffin Bay

Tomorrow (10 June 2010) the Polarstern research vessel sets off on its 25th Arctic expedition. From Bremerhaven it will first set course for the Greenland Sea, where primarily oceanographic work is on the agenda. After a short stop in Longyearbyen (Spitzbergen) the Polarstern will sail to the so-called HAUSGARTEN of the Alfred Wegener Institute and to Fram Strait on 30 June.

There scientists will carry out long-term studies and further oceanographic measurements. On 31 July the third leg, involving geoscientific research, will start in Reykjavik, Iceland and take the vessel to northern Baffin Bay (Canada). Over 120 scientists and technicians from six nations are taking part in the three legs of the expedition. The Polarstern is expected back in Bremerhaven on 10 October.

“The hydrographic work on the first leg makes a major contribution to long-term series of measurements that are indispensable for climate research,” explains Chief Scientist Dr. Gereon Budéus, oceanographer at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association. For over ten years now he and his colleagues have been conducting investigations in the Greenland Sea on the intensity and influence of winter convection, which determines the distribution of heat and salt in the region under study and controls renewal of the deepest layers in the ocean. Furthermore, biologists are studying plankton, i.e. tiny creatures that float in the water column, in the region investigated. The microscopically small animals and algae from three different biogeographic climate zones (polar, Arctic and Atlantic) occur relatively close together here. Research focuses on whether certain species continue to spread or occur less frequently because of altered environmental conditions.

On the second leg in July scientists will study how the Arctic marine ecosystem reacts to global climate change in the deep-sea long-term observatory of the Alfred Wegener Institute, the so-called HAUSGARTEN. Embedded in numerous national and international projects, researchers have been taking samples and conducting experiments on the continental shelf off Spitzbergen at a water depth between 1000 and 5500 metres on a regular basis for over ten years. These studies examine, for instance, how the deep-sea ecosystem reacts to the decline in sea ice and thus to related changes in the food supply. In addition, the scientists will continue long-term hydrographic studies in Fram Strait, the only deepwater link between the North Atlantic and the central Arctic Ocean. Oceanographic moorings here record data on the salt concentration and temperature of the water. They make it possible to quantify the exchange of water masses between the two marine regions.

The third leg starts from Reykjavik at the end of July and will take the Polarstern to Canadian waters. Scientists under the direction of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Raw Materials (BGR) will study the geological structures and tectonic development of northern Baffin Bay and the adjoining Canadian and Greenland continental margins. They want to reconstruct when and how Baffin Bay opened in the course of the Earth's history and what geological processes took place during Greenland's separation from North America. The geodynamic reconstruction of the opening of this shallow-water link between the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic forms the basis for palaeobathymetric models. The latter serve to provide a detailed conception of how global current and sedimentation processes have changed. These efforts will contribute to a better understanding of the development of the palaeoclimate and sedimentary basins in the Arctic.

Over 120 scientists and technicians from six nations are taking part in the three legs of the expedition. After four months in the Arctic the Polarstern is scheduled to return to its homeport of Bremerhaven on 10 October.

Notes for Editors:
Your contact in the Communication and Media Department of the Alfred Wegener Institute is Folke Mehrtens (tel. 0471 4831-2007; e-mail: medien@awi.de)

You will find printable pictures at http://www.awi.de.

The Alfred Wegener Institute conducts research in the Arctic, Antarctic and oceans of the high and mid latitudes. It coordinates polar research in Germany and provides major infrastructure to the international scientific community, such as the research icebreaker Polarstern and stations in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the sixteen research centres of the Helmholtz Association, the largest scientific organisation in Germany.

Margarete Pauls | idw
Further information:
http://www.awi.de
http://www.awi.de/en/news/press_releases/detail/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht How much biomass grows in the savannah?
16.02.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>