Weekly Reports Polarstern

The Expedition PS121 Bremerhaven - Tromsö

Expedition PS121 – FRAM 2019


Expedition PS121 starts on August 10, 2019 in Bremerhaven with the destination Fram Strait

Large parts of the planned work and projects of this expedition are dedicated to the continuation of the HAUSGARTEN long-term observatory established 20 years ago by the AWI in Fram Strait and the implementation of the Helmholtz Infrastructure Initiative FRAM (Frontiers in Arctic Marine Monitoring).

An interdisciplinary group of scientists from five different national and international research institutions will carry out investigations and experiments that cover almost all compartments of the marine ecosystem, from the atmosphere to the water column, and to the seabed in several

thousand meters. The overarching aim of their research activities is to improve our understanding of marine biodiversity and climate-relevant processes of the Arctic Ocean under the impact of climate change.

We will use various optical observation systems and targeted samplers for investigations in the water column and the seabed, and exchange long-term moorings, which are equipped with sensor systems and samplers for year-round biological, physical and chemical studies in the water column. The autonomous underwater vehicle Paul will dive for the first time to a depth of more than 2000 meters to the seabed to obtain new high-resolution information on the condition of the seabed in the study area.

In addition, studies on biodiversity, biomass and distribution of various plankton groups and the associated biogeochemical parameters will be carried out. Here, classical microscopy and biogeochemical analysis are used in parallel to state-of-the-art optical and molecular genetic high-throughput methods. Complementary to the investigations in the water column we will carry out studies of biodiversity, biomass and distribution of deep-sea organisms of different size classes, as well as high-resolution measurements of oxygen consumption and experiments on effects of ocean acidification on deep-sea organisms.


Directly after departure in Bremerhaven, samples will be continuously taken from the lower atmosphere to determine the concentrations of ammonia and ammonium in the atmosphere.


The expedition will end on September 13 with the arrival in Tromsø.

PS103 - Weekly Report No. 1 | 16 - 20 December 2016

We are leaving Cape Town

[21. December 2016] 

16. December, day of departure

As planned, Polarstern pushes away from the pier in Cape Town at 6pm, taking off for her 103rd expedition to the Antarctic.

PS102 - Weekly Report No. 3 | 21. November - 4. December 2016

Saharan dust and atmospheric smoke in Neptunes´ realm.

[05. December 2016] 

The week began with dust in the atmosphere and ended with Neptune's arrival on our ship.

PS102 - Weekly Report No. 2 | 20 - 27 November 2016

Working near the Equator

[29. November 2016] 

In the past week we have been travelling from 30° N towards the Equator and it has been getting steadily warmer with each mile traversed.

PS102 - Weekly Report No. 1 | 12 - 20 November 2016

Bound for Cape Town

[25. November 2016] 

When one spends hours in the winch room deploying rosette and CTD to 4900 m depth.  one has a lot of time to deliberate the passing of the first expedition week at sea, even though one is concentrating hard with the winch driver making sure the sampling bottle releases are at the right depths.

PS101 – Weekly Report No. 5 | 16. October - 23. October 2016

Homebound through the ice.

[24. October 2016] 

During the sixth week of expedition PS101 we are making our way home through the ice. A FRAM “superbuoy” station needs to be rescued before we leave the ice.