Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

RV Polarstern Starts the Arctic Season

13.06.2016

New equipment for the AWI-"Gardener": Expansion of the deep-sea long-term observatory AWI-Hausgarten

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) are setting out with the research vessel Polarstern towards Spitsbergen, to use newly developed equipment in the Arctic Ocean.


Recovery of PAUL after the under-ice dive.

Photo: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / Mascha Wurst

Autonomous instruments on the seabed, in the water column and in the air will complement the long-term measurements of the deep-sea research group. In this way researchers can analyse the climatic changes in the Arctic and their impact on the fauna in the future with higher temporal and spatial resolution.

For the first time the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) "Tramper" will be set on its own for a year on the Arctic seabed. "The newly developed device is to measure oxygen along the depth gradients on a weekly basis. In this way we want to quantify how the sediment-dwelling marine organisms remineralize the biomass on the sea floor," explains Dr Thomas Soltwedel, deep-sea ecologist at the AWI and chief scientist of the expedition.

The scientists want to close a knowledge gap: How are climate-induced changes in the productivity by algae on the water surface as well as in and under the sea ice temporally coupled to the export of nutrients in the deep-sea? And how are the deep-water organisms reacting to the presumably strong variability in food availability?

Above the Tramper working on the deep-sea floor, a further mobile measuring instrument is to be used: The autonomous underwater vehicle AUV named PAUL floats on a pre-programmed course through the water column, takes samples and simultaneously detects a wide range of environmental factors.

Equipped as a small laboratory, PAUL measures the water temperature, salinity, the concentration of nitrate, chlorophyll a and oxygen, as well as various organic substances and the intensity of photosynthetically active radiation. Additionally, PAUL collects water samples, from which the scientists can filter and determine the micro-organisms of plankton. Using an additional built-in acoustic Doppler current metre (ADCP), the physical properties along the melt-water border on the edge of the ice of the Arctic Ocean are to be investigated.

In order to exactly understand the ice conditions above the profile of PAUL, they will use autonomous flying devices. The so-called UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) records the thickness of the snow cover in addition to the ice coverage. For example, it can then be determined to what extent sunlight as energy reaches the ocean under the ice. One of the UAV places GPS transmitters on the sea ice to record the ice drift. The observed data will be used to program the route of the autonomous underwater vehicle.

The newly developed devices complement the long-term measurements, which the Helmholtz-Manx Plank Joint Research Group for deep-sea technology and ecology have been performing for more than 15 years in the so-called AWI Hausgarten (which means house garden) between Spitsbergen and Greenland. Resources of the Helmholtz infrastructure measure FRAM (Frontiers in Arctic Marine Monitoring) have been used to improve and to expand the long-term studies at the AWI-Hausgarten

Before "Polarstern" sails into the Hausgarten, two Italian working groups are using the voyage to travel from Bremerhaven to the North for their research. South of Spitsbergen, the geodynamic and hydrographic conditions and the gas leaks at the bottom of the Kveithola Trench are the focus of the research program. Another focus is on the exploration of spatial and temporal changes in the deep ocean currents southwest of Spitsbergen. Both projects are being carried out in the frame of the EU Eurofleets programme.

RV Polarstern will leave Bremerhaven on Monday, the 13th June 2016 with the high-tide in the evening at 7 pm. A large part of the nearly 50 participants of the scientific expedition participants will be debarking on June 23 during a short stopover in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. Here the deep-sea researchers embark and work on board until their expedition ends on 16th July in the Norwegian Tromsø. Then "Polarstern" focusing on oceanography takes course towards Greenland, where the interactions between the ocean and a glacier at 79 degrees North are to be examined. The last Arctic expedition in 2016 takes place in the Central Arctic, before the research vessel is expected to return to its homeport of Bremerhaven at the end of October.

Notes for Editors:

Your contact person in the Dept. of Communications and Media Relations is Dr Folke Mehrtens, tel. +49 (0)471 4831-2007 (e-mail: Folke.Mehrtens(at)awi.de).

Printable images are available in the online version of this press release: http://www.awi.de/nc/en/about-us/service/press.html

The Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) 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 Antarctica. The Alfred Wegener Institute is one of the 18 research centres of the Helmholtz Association, the largest scientific organisation in Germany.

Ralf Röchert | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.awi.de

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California
24.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht 'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field
23.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

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...

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

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>