IPY-project SciencePub cruise 18-24 august 2008

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By cruise leader Nalan Koc (NPI)

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A group of marine geologist and technicians from the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), Department of Geology at the University of Tromsø (UoT), Vrije Universiteit, the Royal Netherlands Institute
for Sea Research (NIOZ), National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research (NCAOR), India
and the Northern Illinois University (NIU) are sailing out from Longyearbyen, Svalbard on board
NPIs research vessel LANCE on 18th. of August. On board are also an Aftenposten and NRK journalist and an artist. 
  
This is a cruise for the IPY-projects SciencePub  and Norclim, which are both under the network research programme APEX. The main goal of the cruise is to collect a suit of multi-cores from the Kongsfjord-Krossfjord system to a) sample surface sediment samples for living benthic foraminifera to monitor assemblage changes in reaction to ocean climate changes, b) study the history of the inflow of Atlantic water to the area during the last 2000 years. Other goals are a) to quantify the natural variability of Arctic climate and put the recent warming trend into the perspective of the last two millennia b) to study the interaction between the ocean climate and the glaciers of Svalbard. The project will also contribute to the PAGES Working Group on Arctic climate during the last two millennia ? Arctic2k


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You can read Sylvi Inez Liljegren´s blogg with photos from the cruise at www.nrk.no/nordnytt <http://www.nrk.no/nordnytt>  with title: På havbunnsjakt etter fortidsklima

Cruise leader Nalan Koc (NPI)

SciencePub LANCE cruise 5

  

By Nalan Koc & Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen

 

On Sunday 9th of September our cruise ended in Longyearbyen. It has been an intense 8 days out at sea, and we are all rather worn out due to all the physical work. But, the cruise has been a great success! We retrieved all our planned samples and a bit more!

 

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Here are all those who were on board R/V LANCE during the SciencePub Cruise 2007 in front of Kronebreen in Kongsfjorden. You can guess yourself from their dirty outfits who were the scientists working on deck retrieving samples. Our journalist Jan-Morten Bjørnbakk from NTB took the photo.

  

There are 3 essential factors for making a cruise a success: #1. good weather, which we had! #2: well-functioning equipment, which they became with some adjustments. And the last but not the least factor is the crew on board. We have had an extremely professional, competent and service-minded crew, who also had a lot of good humor! They are the backbone of the whole operation and the success of the cruise. From getting us to the exact positions of the sampling sites as the captain did together with his machine engineers, to driving the winches with our expensive equipment dangling from it as the deck-mates did, to making comfortable living conditions on board as the cook and the stewardesses did. We thank the crew of R/V LANCE for making this cruise a success!

 

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Captain Petter steering R/V LANCE with finesse.

 

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The chief engineer Johan together with 1st machinist Jan Petter and trainee Odd Erik making sure that the engines are running smoothely. Photo by Tor Ivan Karlsen.

 

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Deck-mates Tom and Dan taking turns driving the winch with the multicorer. Photo by Tor Ivan Karlsen.

 

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Emil together with Kristin and Marisa served us the most delicious traditional dishes from Norway. Photo by Tor Ivan Karlsen.

 

SciencePub LANCE Cruise 4

SciencePub LANCE Cruise 4

 

By Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen, Katrine Husum, Catherine Stickley, Lindsay Wilson & Jung-Hyun Kim

  

Onboard "Lance" we work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make the most of time and money. We are therefore organized into 2 working groups. The "day shift" works from 8 -16 and 20 - 24 while the "night shift" works from 16 - 20 and 24 - 8. During a marine geological cruise a lot of things need to be done: cores of soft marine sediment are retrieved from the sea floor and later processed in the laboratory. The sediment cores are brought up to the ship?s deck from the sea floor using a multicorer. The multicorer is a large metal frame which houses 6 plastic tubes that are filled with sediments when the frame reaches the sea floor. The sediment is trapped inside the tubes by a metal plate that snaps underneath the tubes after they fill up with sediment. This type of corer retrieves excellent short sediment cores without disturbing the sea floor. When the cores come up you can see clear seawater above the sediments in the tubes, and sometimes we even catch tiny shrimps in the plastic tubes. After the sediment cores are secured on deck, they have to be processed in the lab. A sediment core can be thought of like a stack of pancakes. The oldest ones are in the bottom of the stack and every year a new layer (or a pancake) is added, and in that way we can reconstruct past environments. In the laboratory the sediment core is sampled at every cm downwards thus giving information going back in time. The samples are going to be analyzed back home for foraminifera, dinoflagellates, diatoms, DNA, and physical and geochemical composition of the mud.

 

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In the picture you see the multicorer coming up in Kongsfjorden, and Lindsay Wilson (University of Tromsø) from the day watch is steering the corer towards the deck.

 

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The sampling was successful. Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen from the Norwegian Polar Institute is holding one of the sediment cores after it has been secured with lids.

 

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 In the picture Simon, Noortje (both from Vrije University) and Kim (NIOZ) sampling a core in the laboratory.

 

Micro bacterial group

We (Jung-Hyun Kim and Francien Peterse) are from the Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ) located on the island of Texel. We are filtering a lot of sea water and sampling mud. We are looking for very small compounds produced by molecular organisms the size of bacteria. For molecular biological (DNA) and biogeochemical (lipid) analyses, we have to keep the samples (both water and mud) frozen at -20°C or -80°C until they are treated at home. So we are running up and down steep ladders hundred of times a day from the laboratory to the cool storage room in the bottom of the ship. It is a great fitness exercise - we are getting very fit here!!!

 

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Small samples are taken for DNA analysis by Kim and Simon in the laboratory.

  IT IS A MUDDY JOB BUT SOMEBODY?S GOT TO DO IT

During the cruise somebody has to work during the night, and this year the night watch are: Arto Miettinen, Catherine Stickley (both from the Norwegian Polar Institute), Kari Grøsfjeld (The Geological Survey of Norway) and Katrine Husum (University of Tromsø). Our job is the same as that as the day watch; namely to take samples with the multicorer and subsample the sediment cores in the lab. The winches are run by the ship crew, but we have to empty the multicorer and secure the sediment cores as they get on deck. The latter can be a little troublesome as you have to get down on your knees on the cold, wet, muddy, slippery deck to get a grip of the cores, but the "House of Smooth" has developed great techniques, and we can now do it with brutal efficiency (6 cores in 15 minutes). Afterwards the cores are subsampled in the lab.  

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 On the picture is ?The House of Smooth? in front of the multicorer. The picture is taken at 5 am in Hinlopen Strait. It is nice to do the night watch at high latitudes at this time of the year as it does not get really dark during the night and the skyscapes can really take on an ethereal quality. It is also easy to see that marine geology can be muddy work but a lot of fun! p.s. can you see the Polar Bear??  Mud, mud and more mud!! 

As you can see from the group photograph of the "day shift" we start the cruise in nice and clean thermal overalls complete with safety boots and hard hats. The work on deck involves mud, mud and more mud...somehow a lot of it ends up on us, there seems to be no way to avoid it! Although we use a lot of water for rinsing and cleaning the equipment and core tubes we never manage to avoid the mud.

 

We have now been working for 6 days onboard the ship, carrying cores, sampling and cleaning and have become a very efficient team. However, most of the time it doesn't feel like hard work because we are lucky to be surrounded by some spectacular scenery including snow-covered mountains, icebergs and seabirds...and more importantly, calm seas!

 

There is always some competition between the day and night shift over who can do the best and most work...we of course believe we are better, in fact,  we are convinced that if  timed we could do all 6 cores in 10 minutes!!

 

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The clean dream team : Lindsay Wilson (University of Tromsø), Dorthe Klitgaard Kristensen, Margot Saher (both from Norwegian Polar Institute), Noortje Dijksma and Simon Troelstra (both from Vrije University).

+ the little intruder from the night shift (Katrine Husum, University of Tromsø)

 

SciencePub LANCE cruise 3

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By Nalan Koc (cruise leader)


Today at noon we passed 80°N and are now at the shelf edge north of Hinlopenrenna. On our way here we passed through a belt of sea-ice. We saw some seals and whales, but no polar bears (yet!) to our disappointment.

Fortunately, the northern shelf of Spitsbergen is sea-ice free during summer (see sea-ice chart from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute). Otherwise, we wouldn´t dare sample in sea-ice covered waters due to fear of loosing our expensive instruments.

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Coring has been going very good. We are getting samples in all 6 cores of the multicorer. Here is Kari Grøsfjeld from NGU and Lindsay Wilson from UiT  ready to take the cores to lab for sampling for different

micropaleontological, sedimentological and geochemical studies.

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SciencePub LANCE cruise 2

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By Nalan Koc (cruise leader)

 

We are now in Kongsfjorden heading  out of the fjord and north to Hinlopen trough. But, let's start from day # -1.


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The night before sailing out (Friday) we gathered at the Kroa restaurant in Longyearbyen for pizza and getting acquainted.

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Cruise participants boarded LANCE Saturday morning at 7:30 and we sailed out of Longyearbyen heading north to Kongsfjorden at 7:50. The cruise has started!

 

We have had sunny, blue skies and calm seas under the 10 hours of transit to Kongsfjorden, and the following day. Perfect conditions for taking sediment cores. On Saturday evening we sat our 2 biology students from NINA on land at Mitra peninsula. We will pick them up on our way back to Longyearbyen next Saturday.  Our NTB-journalist and Spanish photographer went ashore with them for an hour to interview them on their project and check out their living quarters for the next 8 days. During the night we took the pulse of the Atlantic water flowing into the Kongsfjord with a transect of 7 CTD stations. Right under the surface polar water, the Atlantic water flowing into the Kongsfjord was up to 5°C warm.


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Beautiful weather just outside Kongsfjorden. In the background are my most favorite peaks Tre-Kroner (Svea, Nora, Dana). Their peaks are of Permian coral rocks, which are hard to erode and therefore are forming the caps of the peaks.


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This year we have a brand new CTD with not only temperature and salinity probes, but also a flourometer and a probe for measuring oxygen. Tor Ivan, our electronics engineer from NPI, is responsible for running all our CTD-measurements. He is the only person other than me who is not working on shift but, is on duty 24-hours a day! Here he is reading the Manuel before deploying the instrument at our first station.

 

Our Multicorer is also brand new. We are using it for the first time and we have had some frustrations with it since not all of its 6 arms were closing properly, which is necessary for keeping the sediments retrieved in the cores. After trying a few different tactics we finally took off some weight off it making it lighter and that did the trick! Now, everything is functioning as it should and we are keeping our cruise participants busy slicing up mud!

Ny CTD
Tekst og foto: Tor Ivan Karlsen

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Norsk Polarinstitutt har kjøpt en ny CTD til forskningsfartøyet R/V Lance. Den nye CTD-en som er produsert av seabird, er mer kompakt og lettere å håndtere. I tillegg til standard sensorer som trykk, temperatur og salinitet, har den også oksygen og klorofyll sensorer montert. Alle sensorene kan opereres ned til 6500 meter. CTD-en er utstyrt med en vannprøvetaker (rosette). Kapasiteten er 10 flasker a 10liter.

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CTD-en er ett av de viktigste instrumentene som er ombord. Den gir forskerne viktig informasjon om de oseanografiske forhold på stedet. Ofte tas det først en CTD profil før biologiske eller maringeologiske prøver tas. 


And last but not least:  the Dutch group form Norclim project. Check out their bloggs and videos!!!

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SciencePub LANCE cruise 1

 

By Nalan Koc (cruise leader)


 


The extent of sea ice has never been lower than it is this summer in the Arctic since satellite measurements started in 1978. Similarly, the Atlantic water flowing along the western coast of Svalbard has warmed by about 2°C during the last 20 years. The fjords of western Svalbard have not been freezing during the last 2 years as they used to do. Arctic climate is changing rapidly.

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Despite the general warming trend in the Arctic, last week the first snow fell on the mountain peaks around Longyearbyen and the vegetation in Adventdalen is turning red. Autumn has come to Svalbard!

 

A group of marine geologist and technicians from the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), Department of Geology at the University of Tromsø (UoT), the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), Vrije Universiteit, the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) and the Northern Illinois University (NIU) are sailing out from Longyearbyen, Svalbard on board NPIs research vessel LANCE on 1. of september. On board are also a Spanish photographer, a Norwegian (from NTB) and a Dutch (from VPRO) journalist. There are also two students from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) who are getting a hike to/from Mitra peninsula at the mouth of Kongsfjorden to study the habitat and food choice of Arctic charr in a high Arctic lake.

 

This is a cruise for the IPY-projects SciencePub and Norclim, which are both under the network research programme APEX. The main goal of the cruise is to collect a suit of multi-cores and gravity-cores to study the history of the inflow of Atlantic water to the Arctic Ocean and into the Kongsfjord-Krossfjord system since the last deglaciation, with special focus on the last 2000 years. Other goals are a) to quantify the natural variability of Arctic climate and put the recent warming trend into the perspective of the last 10,000 years b) to study the interaction between the ocean climate and the glaciers of Svalbard.


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Cruise leader Nalan is already up in Longyearbyen sitting at NPIs offices in the Svalbard Research Park and preparing for the cruise.


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Jörg and his colleagues at the Operation & Logistics department of NPI are used to equip both Norwegian and international polar expeditions. This week Jörg has been packing both work clothes for the cruise participants and also the multi-corer, which we will use to retrieve short sediment cores from the ocean bottom for our studies. Now we are waiting for cruise participants to arrive in Longyearbyen!