The new mooring buoy ready to be deployed
After recovering two moorings yesterday, the team did a quick turnaround due to impending weather and redeployed them today. Like recovering the mooring, deploying was quite an operation done with careful precision. The BS3 mooring with all of its various instruments was redeployed to collect data for another year adding to the time series of data from this location.
Fresh new instruments being deployed. An ADCP and pCO2 Sensor
The Mooring Anchor
Right before heading into the depths…
See you in a year…
With the mooring operations complete, we are moving on to Phase II of the expedition which involves a long steam northeast to the Canadian Archipelago where we will be completing CTDs and water sampling along the shelf. I am very exciting for this work as we will be heading into the ice!
The BS3 Mooring coming down the Port side of the ship after being released from its anchor
After continuing our sampling through the night, it was time to recover the BS3 mooring in the waters northeast of Barrow. The recovery of the mooring is quite an impressive process. This mooring was deployed on last year’s cruise and has been taking measurements of the water column for the past year creating an incredible data set that is key to understanding the Arctic shelf ecosystem. The instruments on the mooring have been collecting various measurements including temperature, salinity, nitrate, pCO2, and pH.
Everyone is anxious to get back to the lab to look at the data collected from these instruments and create a picture of what the water column looked like for the past year, from the open water of the fall through the ice-covered winter through the spring and summer melt until now. The changing ocean conditions affect the measurements tremendously as do currents and upwellings that occur seasonally in this area. By understanding these variables, the scientists can better understand what will happen when there is less ice in the future due to the warming climate.
Preparing the snowy deck for the recovery of the mooring
The small boat hooks a line from the boat onto the buoy
The first part of the mooring coming on board. The pCO2 censor is on the chain behind.
Successful recovery of the mooring!
Dr. Jeremy Mathis with his pCO2 censor from the mooring…excited to see the data!
The mooring will be re-deployed in the coming days to collect data for the next year.
Recovering a mooring recording the sounds of the Arctic
We are in the middle of the first phase of the cruise which consists of recovering and deploying moorings in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Most of these moorings have been on the bottom of the ocean collecting data since being deployed on last year’s cruises. It is amazing to think about the time series of data that these instruments are collecting. There are a variety of moorings being deployed and recovered, collecting all kinds of data, from physical oceanography data, to chlorophyll measurements to acoustic data listening for passing mammals. So much can be learned from these instruments because they are in situ for so long monitoring the changes throughout the year.
Mooring operations must be completed in daylight so we have been doing CTD casts all night and the mooring ops and any necessary transiting during the day. Ship time is valuable so all minutes and hours of the day must be used efficiently. We have a few more days of mooring ops to complete before moving on to the second phase of the cruise which will consist of 24 hour a day CTD casts and water sampling!