Weekly Reports Polarstern

The Expedition PS115/2 Longyearbyen - Bremerhaven

The overall goal of the geoscience program of the six-weeks Expedition PS115/2 (”Polarstern Arctic Ocean Paleoceanography – PArcOP”)  is to enhance our insights into the tectonic evolution, climate history and related sedimentary processes in the Central Arctic Ocean, based on seismic reflection and marine-geological data. These new data will contribute to a better understanding of the link between tectonics and climate changes in the Arctic. The key objectives of the marine-geological research program of Expedition PS115/2 are (1) high-resolution studies of Quaternary changes in paleoclimate, especially circum-Arctic ice sheets, sea-ice cover, and surface- and deep-water characteristics and (2) detailed reconstructions of the long-term climate history of the Arctic Ocean during Cenozoic times. Seismic data acquisition will be carried out across the central and southern part of the Lomonosov Ridge, supplementing the profiles obtained during Polarstern Expedition PS87 in 2014. The new seismic data will provide new insights into the tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the Arctic Ocean and the adjacent continental shelves. Furthermore, ocean bottom seismometers will be deployed to monitor micro-earthquakes in the Gakkel-Ridge area.

In addition to the geoscientific key objectives, smaller supplementary studies will be carried out, dealing with (1) the measurements on & sampling of sea ice, melt ponds and open-water areas; (2) the deployment of drift buoys to automatically record position, air pressure and surface-water temperature, and (3) detailed radiosounding activity. Last but not least, a “Floating University” will be held on board Polarstern as part of the International Research Training Group “ArcTrain” (Processes and impacts of climate change in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian Arctic) qualification and education program.

PS115/2 Weekly Report No 3 | 17. - 23.09.2018

With geophysics and geology towards 83°05’N – the northernmost position of our expedition

[25. September 2018] 

Monday/Tuesday (17/18 Sep 18). A new week begins - fog, calm sea, ice free. Nothing reminds us that we are in the Arctic Ocean (but this may change soon when are steaming northwards end of this week!).


PS115/2 Weekly Report No. 2 | 10.09. - 16.09.2018

We are ready to start – About Super-Puma, polar bear, kastenlot and OBS

[18. September 2018] 

Monday (10 Sep 18). Shortly after midnight, (the first weekly report with positive news about the start of our research in a few hours has just been sent out) bad news for us: a case of medical emergency, the expedition’s program has to be stopped, we have to steam with full speed back to Longyearbyen – a long way! At 19:45, however, good news from the captain: tomorrow evening we will have a rendezvous with a long-range rescue helicopter NE of Svalbard at 81°N/41°E where a rescue team will take-over our patient.


PS115.2 Wochenbericht Nr. 1 | 03.09. – 09.09.18

From Longyearbyen through the Northeast Passage towards the Siberian Arctic

[10. September 2018] 

Monday (03.09.18). Since early Monday morning “Polarstern“ is anchoring in the Isfjorden, directly off Longyearbyen, and waiting for the new crew and the new group of scientists, who will be embarked for the coming Leg.


PS115.1 Weekly Report No. 4 | 27.08. – 02.09.2018

Last work in the northeastern Greenland Sea in the final week of the cruise

[03. September 2018] 

After returning to the part of the Wandel Sea just off the coast of Kronprins Christian Land, the northeasternmost point of Greenland, station work started including heat flow measurements and sediment sampling (box corer and gravity corer).


PS115.1 – weekly report Nr. 3 | 20.08. – 26.08.2018

Surprising ice conditions favor measurements further north

[27. August 2018] 

The second half of our cruise started with a northwesterly directed transit. To follow the originally planned seismic profiles we would have had to cross an ice field of approximately 20 nautical miles.


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