The Laptev Sea as a shallow shelf sea plays an important role for the Arctic climate: extensive heat transfer between atmosphere and ocean is possible due to the absence of ice in summer and large persisting open areas in winter (Polynyas). Consequently, a large fraction of the Arctic sea ice originates here. The Siberian river discharge, like of the Lena in the Laptev Sea, provides a major contribution to the fresh water of the Arctic Ocean.
Our goal is to contribute to a better understanding of the water mass modifications on the Laptev Sea shelf. Of particular interest are the formation and circulation of dense water in the winter polynya, the spreading and mixing of the river plume and the upwelling of warm water from the boundary current in the deep basin onto the shelf.
Since 2005 we are operating moorings (the four red dots in map) in the Laptev Sea that are combined with hydrographic surveys during summer. The sketch shows a mooring which is equipped with two Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) and a device for logging Conductivity-Temperature-Density (CTD).