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Press release

Research institutes from Bremen install new Arctic deep sea observatory

[10. August 2009] 

Three research institutes from the German federal state Bremen among others have set up an observation ward for the long-term observation of a mud volcano in the Norwegian deep sea. This took place during RV Polarstern’s 24th Arctic expedition from July 10th until August 3rd. The endeavours are part of the project ESONET (European Seas Observatory NETwork), funded by the European Union. Its purposes are to provide information about the dynamics of gas eruptions in the next years and to show the consequences of these eruptions, for example on the biological communities on the seafloor. Another investigation area was the deep sea ecosystem west of Spitsbergen, the so-called “Hausgarten” of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz...

Press release

Geoscientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute are back from an expedition to the Labrador Sea - Indications for volcanic eruptions in the younger geological history found

[20. July 2009] 

Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute have researched the geology of the seabed in the Labrador Sea on board of the research vessel Maria S. Merian. They have studied the so-called Eirik Drift at the southern tip of Greenland, a structure of several hundred kilometres length formed like a ridge. They discovered a submarine mountain (seamount) at the south-western fringe of their area of investigation that indicates volcanic eruptions during the past few million years.

Press release

All in sight: The Alfred Wegener Institute tests infrared system for the protection of whales

[01. July 2009] 

A new measurement system for the detection of whales is used for the first time on board of the research vessel Polarstern. Whales are usually difficult to spot. Visual sightings by marine mammal observers are therefore usually based on observations of the spout, the condensing and quite warm breathing cloud. It rises, depending on the whale species and wind conditions, between one metre and ten metres over the water surface and remains visible for only a few seconds. A thermal imaging camera specifically optimized for this purpose now uses the heat of this spout. It is employed for the first time during the current expedition of RV Polarstern.

Press release

Why are diatoms so successful? Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute find hints to this question in the algae’s evolution.

[26. June 2009] 

Diatoms play a key role in the photosynthesis of the oceans and are therefore intensively studied. Together with international colleagues researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute have made a new discovery regarding the evolution of diatoms’ photosynthesis. Results are presented in the current issue of the periodical “SCIENCE”.