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).

PS99 - Weekly Report No. 1| 13 June - 19 June 2016

We are on the way – finally!

[20. June 2016] 

That’s what we’ve been heading for since weeks and months – finally it’s real! In the early evening on the 13th June 2016 we set sail for the long passage from Bremerhaven to the Arctic. We, that is 45 crew members and a total of 51 scientists, engineers, technicians and students with the common goal to conduct multidisciplinary investigations in the atmosphere, the water column and at the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean.



PS99 Summary| 13 June - 16 July 2016

The Expedition PS 99 from Bremerhaven to Tromsø

[06. June 2016] 

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.

PS98 Weekly Report No. 4 | 2 - 8 May 2016

Training in Sediment Acoustics

[09. May 2016] 

On Tuesday, May 3rd, a group of 20 Masters and PhD students and 5 instructors boarded the R/V Polarstern in Las Palmas. Some of those who have already been on board from Punta Arenas for more than three weeks, took the occasion to make a short shore leave.

PS98 Weekly report No. 3 | 25 April - 1 May 2016

Crossing the equator

[03. May 2016] 

On Tuesday last week, the route of Polarstern towards its home base crossed the equator. Shortly after that we also traversed the “atmospheric equator”, the so-called Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is usually associated with heavy rain showers and thunderstorms.

PS98 Weekly Report No. 2 | 18 - 24 April 2016

Through the humid southern trade winds

[26. April 2016] 

We are now in the second week of our cruise back to Bremerhaven and have already nearly reached the equator. For the last few days, we have experienced tropical weather conditions with temperatures around 28°C and high humidity.