Weekly Reports Polarstern
The Expedition PS99 from Bremerhaven to Tromsø
The RV Polarstern expedition PS99 to the Arctic will start on 13 June 2016 in Bremerhaven and lead to study areas northwest of Bear Island, south of Spitsbergen and in the central and eastern Fram Strait.
During the first leg of the expedition (Bremerhaven - Longyearbyen), RV Polarstern will be available to support two scientific projects selected by the European FP7 Research Infrastructure programme EUROFLEETS2. The research project BURSTER (Bottom currents in a stagnant environment) aims to investigate the geodynamic and hydrographic conditions, and the active gas seepage present in the pockmark-field piercing the sediment drift located in the inner part of the Kveithola Trough, whereas temporal and spatial variations of deep currents to the southwest of Svalbard are in focus of the DEFROST (Deep flow regime off Spitsbergen) project.
The scientific work during the second leg of the expedition (Longyearbyen - Tromsø) will support the time-series studies at the LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) observatory HAUSGARTEN, where we document Global Change induced environmental variations on a polar deep-water ecosystem. This work is carried out in close co-operation between the HGF-MPG Joint Research Group on Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology, and the PEBCAO Group (Phytoplankton Ecology and Biogeochemistry in the Changing Arctic Ocean) at AWI and the Helmholtz Young Investigators Group SEAPUMP (Seasonal and regional food web interactions with the biological pump), representing a joint effort between AWI and the MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, and the University of Bremen.
The expedition will also be used to accomplish installations for the HGF infrastructure project FRAM (Frontiers in Arctic marine Monitoring). The FRAM Ocean Observing System aims at permanent presence at sea, from surface to depth, for the provision of near real-time data on Earth system dynamics, climate variability and ecosystem change. It serves national and international tasks towards a better understanding of the effects of change in ocean circulation, water mass properties and sea-ice retreat on Arctic marine ecosystems and their main functions and services. Products of the infrastructure are continuous long-term data with appropriate resolution in space and time, as well as ground-truthing information for ocean models and remote sensing.
During the technically and logistically very challenging expedition PS99 we will, amongst others, use an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and different autonomous underwater vehicles which will operate in the water column and on the deep seafloor. The cruise will end on 16 July 2016 in Tromsø (Norway).