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.

PS115/2 Weekly Report No. 4 | 24.09. – 30.09.18

A mosaic of silence, storm, sea ice and kastenlot

[01. October 2018] 

Monday (24 Sep). A new week begins – quite similar to the last one. For the next three to four days we have to listen to the “music of the geophysicists”, every 15 seconds the monotonous “wum” will enjoy us.

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).