Weekly Reports Polarstern

The Expedition PS113 Punta Arenas - Bremerhaven

The cruise leg PS113 coincides with the return voyage of Polarstern after finishing the Antarctic research season 2017/18. PS113 will begin 07 May 2018 in Punta Arenas, Chile, and end 11 June 2018 in Bremerhaven. An intermediate port call at Las Palmas, Canary Islands, is scheduled for 03 June for the exchange of personnel. Most of the time (ca. 9/10) allocated to PS113 will be used simply for transiting between Punta Arenas and Bremerhaven at an economically reasonable steaming speed of Polarstern.

The ship time available for scientific station work hence is very limited. Emphasis will thus be laid on research work that can be conducted en route along the transit course. This encompasses the main scientific project to be conducted during PS113, the commissioning of a new measuring system, the Triaxus towed ocean profiler of the AWI (topAWI), for which purpose Polarstern has to steam at a lower than normal transit speed.

This new towed system will allow measuring simultaneously with high temporal and spatial coverage and resolution in a quasi-synoptic manner many physical, chemical and biological variables that are relevant to identify the processes, which control phytoplankton photosynthesis and primary production, hence the uptake of CO2. Primary production also forms the basis of the marine food webs and ecosystems, which yield living resources.

Commissioning of topAWI will for inter-calibration purposes be accompanied by measurements made with proven techniques, such as hydrographic stations enhanced by vertical profiling of ocean optical properties. The latter is also aimed at the validation of ocean colour satellite sensors hence at improved remote sensing of phytoplankton concentrations. Samples taken for plankton genomics will allow for an assessment of meridional differences in plankton species diversity, which are expected to occur along with the crossing of different climatic zones during the transit. Recordings of surface waves and currents made by the WaMos-Radar will be compared with the acoustically measured current shears from topAWI.

Changes in atmospheric properties and processes underway from the southern hemisphere, which is less perturbed by human activities, and the more disturbed northern hemisphere will be revealed using advanced lidar systems and sun-photometers. Deepest down at the seafloor and in the sediments, bathymetric mapping and sub-bottom profiling will be conducted using various sonar systems installed on Polarstern.

Last but not least, fish caught before in Antarctic waters will be held live in aquaria, attended and transported to the AWI for extended physiological investigations.

PS95.2 Weekly Report No. 1 | 9 till 15 November 2015

Under Saharan Dust

[16. November 2015] 

After 13 days at sea Polarstern reached Las Palmas on the Canary Islands on the 10th November. The team of three geophysicists left the ship and six new people came on board: two technicians to test the satellite antennae system, Sören Krägefski to calibrate the EK60 Ecosounder, two people to support the TROPOS team (Leipzig Institute for Tropospheric Research) and Karin Lochte as the new cruise leader. We also had a visit of the Director and colleagues from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography IEO (Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia) and POGO, who were...

PS95.1 Weekly Report No. 2 | 2 till 8 November 2015

An unexpected encounter and the issue with the motion sensor

[09. November 2015] 

“Heaven smiles when angles travel” – tells an old German saying. If this is true, we must have many angles on board looking at the extremely good weather conditions we have had till now. It didn’t even breeze in the Biscay and thus, we were able to conduct all planned station work.

PS95.1 Weekly Report No. 1| 29 October till 1 November 2015

The “floating summer school” begins

[03. November 2015] 

On Tuesday October 29, 2015 was cast off at 13:00 h on the dot. Two tugboats maneuvered Polarstern into the lock. Once in the Weser she starts steaming and leaves Bremerhaven southbound for the Antarctic season 2015/16. 43 crew members as well as 52 scientists and students are on board.

PS95 Summary| 29 October till 2 December 2015 (Bremerhaven - Cape Town)

The Polarstern-Expedition PS95

Floating summer school

[29. October 2015] 

The expedition PS 95 is split in two legs: PS95.1 transit cruise from Bremerhaven to Las Palmas and PS 95.2 from Las Palmas to Cape Town. Both legs are dedicated to the training of students.

PS94 Weekly Report No. 7 | 28. September till 4. October 2015

Ice-free diet for copepods

[06. October 2015] 

How will the Arctic ecosystems react on climate change – how will they change as a consequence of the ongoing summer sea ice decrease? These are the questions moving our biologists and therefore they study flora and fauna in the sea ice, the water and at the sea floor. Hence our transects through the Arctic contain also net hauls and a considerable part of the water from the rosettes goes to the biologists.