Weekly Reports Polarstern

The Expedition PS114 Bremerhaven - Tromsø

After leaving Bremerhaven on July 10th, Polarstern cruise PS114 will start with a roughly 5-day transit to the working area: Fram Strait between Svalbard and Greenland. The center of the cruise will a large number of mooring recoveries and deployments that are part of the Helmholtz Infrastructure Initiative FRAM. The cruise will progress from east to west across the working area to service moorings that are part of (i) long-term observations of the West Spitsbergen Current temperature and transport, (ii) long-term observations for sedimentary fluxes to the sea-floor, (iii) a process study aiming to understand the driving forces for algal growth at the ice-edge, (iv) a process study to constrain the seasonal properties of the westward flow in Fram Strait, and (v) a process study to constrain the seasonal flow patterns of warm Atlantic Water on the East Greenland shelf and underneath the 79°North Glacier. On most days in the working area, mooring recoveries or deployments will take place during day time ship working hours. During night hours station-based sampling will take place including the deployment of the CTD rosette, multinet, LOKI, TV multi-corer, and ocean floor observation system. These instruments will measure various physical, chemical, and biological parameters and retrieve water, specimen, and sediment samples for biological and chemical analyses. Underway systems will also operate and biological and chemical samples will be taken at regular intervals from sea-water intakes of Polarstern. Properties to be investigated include (i) phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacteria abundance, species distribution, and molecular and genetic variability, (ii) primary production, (iii) epibenthic megafauna, (iv) dissolved and particulate inorganic and organic nutrients and carbon, and (v) pathways and emissions of trace gases N2O, CH4, DMS, and CO. Incubations will assess rates of trace gas exchanges under varying forcing. During the transit and in the working area, air samples will be collected for analyses of emerging organic contaminants such as flame retardants. In the western part of the working area, where sea-ice is expected, helicopter operations will retrieve snow samples from sea-ice floes for analyses of emerging organic contaminants. After a shorter transit, the cruise will end in Tromsø on August 3rd.

PS114 - Weekly Report No. 1 | 10 - 15 July 2018

Into the Arctic

[16. July 2018] 

A walk through the ship shows: Everything is ready to go! Just a few days ago there were partly unpacked transport boxes everywhere (from whole containers to small cardboard boxes).

PS113 - Weekly Report No. 5| 4th -10th June 2018

The Final Strai(gh)t

[11. June 2018] 

On 5th June after leaving Las Palmas on Gran Canaria we again reduced our speed for 5 hours so that we could tow the Triaxus/topAWI for one final test.  Thereupon followed a final comparison station with CTD and the optical measurements package. Thereafter, we were supposed to head to Bremerhaven with all haste and without further ado.

PS113 - Weekly Report No. 4 | 28th May - 3rd June 2018

The Tropical North Atlantic: Cold in the Water, Dust in the Sky

[04. June 2018] 

The whole week long we sailed in the North-east Trade Wind zone under skies with only a few clouds, but with strong head-winds for Polarstern. By crossing the northern tropic, the Tropic of Cancer, at 23° 26’ 05” North during the night of  31st May to 1st June we have left the Tropics and are again in the Subtropics. Although we have been moving through the Tropics and Subtropics, the water and air surrounding us with temperatures of around 20°C have been relatively cool, 10° colder than the daytime temperatures in much of Germany.  That...

PS113 - Weekly Report No. 3 | 21st - 27th May 2018

Cruising through the Blue

[28. May 2018] 

After entering the Tropics in the Southeast Trade Wind region and sailing under cloudless skies, the second half of the week was largely cloudy with frequent rainfall. We had arrived in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, in which the air masses transported by the Southeast Trade Winds and their northern hemispheric counterpart, the Northeast Trade Winds, rise up and produce thick clouds reaching high into the atmosphere.

PS113 - Weekly Report No. 2 | 14th-20th May (Whit Sunday) 2018

Whitsun Excursion with a Towed System

[23. May 2018] 

Since crossing the Tropic of Capricorn at 23° 26’ 05” South on Thursday this week travelling north we find ourselves, according to the astronomical definition, in the Tropics. The weather is what you would expect; water and air temperature lie between 26 and 27°C. Since we have also arrived in the zone of the SE Trade Winds there is a stiff and steady breeze and by day the sun shines from a sky with few clouds into deep blue ocean water.