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.

PS97 Weekly Report No. 1 | 16 - 21 February 2016

Stormy Departures

[22. February 2016] 

At midnight between the 19-20th of February we finally had the get-go for the FS Polarstern PS97 Expedition. It was a long way to this very point. An advance group had arrived in Punta Arenas six days prior to aid in changing over containers from the previous Antarctic Expedition PS96 with our materials. Unfortunately the FS Polarstern could not access the Mardones container loading pier in Punta Arenas, as it was still being occupied by a delayed freight ship. We had to wait until access was given for the extensive freight loading operations.


PS97 Summary| 16 Februar till 8 April 2016

The Expedition PS97 from Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas

[15. February 2016] 

The cruise leg PS97 “Paleoceanography of the Drake Passage (PaleoDrake) will start on February 16, 2016 in Punta Arenas (Chile) and will end on April 8, 2016 again in Punta Arenas.

PS96 Weekly Report No. 8 | 1 - 7 February 2016

Farewell to East Antarctica and passage through the Weddell Sea

[10. February 2016] 

No – we did not forget about the four men at Drescher Inlet and left them there for overwintering. The helicopters brought them and all their equipment back to the ship last week. It was fascinating to see how they reported about their work with the typical Antarctic glaze in their clear eyes. The stories of their impressions bubbled out of their mouths like freshwater from a thawed water fall.

PS96 Weekly Report No. 7 | 25 till 31 Janauary 2016

Research final

[01. February 2016] 

Each brilliant movie, fireworks display, symphony or football World Cup tournament (at least from a German point of view) ends with a great final. At the end of the station work everybody and every team is showing off and demonstrating what they are capable of, also on this expedition. All gear used for marine science is deployed (one by one, not simultaneously!). You must have experienced yourself the complexity of deployments and techniques and the variety of results to appreciate this. The selected photographs attached to our letters only can give...

PS96 Weekly Report No. 6 | 18 till 24 Janauary 2016

Variety of station work – science at its finest

[25. January 2016] 

A huge, wooden box is sitting on the deck for several days. When it reveals its content, a weather station appears, which is destined to be deployed on a solid ice floe and to keep in touch with home via satellite connection. Like everything what we deploy on ice floes we won’t see it again. However, how will it be deployed onto the ice?