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UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS | INTERNATIONAL ARCTIC RESEARCH CENTER

MOSAIC

Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate

EXPEDITION BLOG

By Rob Rember and Marc Oggier, International Arctic Research Center sea ice scientists 

November 8- Sampling ice November 8, 2019 - A lot can happen in two weeks even if it is at a slower pace than normal due to the cold and wind. Our temperatures are not that cold by Fairbanks standards, hovering around -20F. However, when you add 15-20 knots of wind you quickly arrive into the -35 to -40 range. This takes its toll on both people and equipment when working outdoors for hours on end. There have been some cold injuries but for the most part people are taking care of one another with constant questions about their well-being and making people who show any signs of…
October 22 – Unexpected cracks October 23, 2019 - It has been some time since I have been able to sit and write an entry recapping our drift. I suppose I should start with the drift; we have been adrift (moored to an ice floe) for ~2 weeks. Our drift speed really depends on the wind at this point. We moved south for much of the first two weeks at less than a knot most of the time. However, about two days ago the winds shifted and are now out of the south, we moved north finally passing our starting point. We are now hopefully moving towards the North…
October 12 & 14 – Cutting holes in ice October 16, 2019 - October 12 Progress in the central observatory is noticeable. The main "road" system is now flagged. Met and Ocean city (science outposts) construction and the remote sensing area are taking shape with the hut that shelters the equipment constructed and the power lines installed. Yesterday the largest hole (1.5 x 1.5 meters) was cut in a refrozen melt pond using two ice saws. Since the ice was young (only about 30 cm thick) and still "warm" it took only about one hour to extract the nine blocks of ice. In the afternoon we installed a round double layer floor (with…
Reminiscing about Federov October 11, 2019 - Over the past few weeks we've heard tidbits of Marc Oggier's adventures on the MOSAiC expedition support icebreaker, the Federov. On October 8, Marc had a few minutes to share a more complete pictures of his time. He is now on Polarstern and the Federov will soon return to Port in Norway.  On the evening of October 19th, the R/V Polarstern left Tromsø, while the Akademik Fedorov, the shipped I boarded, remained behind, waiting for some delayed cargo. “We are faster, we will catch up,” said the captain, trying to be reassuring. The next morning we departed. We sailed through…
October 8 – All hands on deck October 8, 2019 - Our adventures continue onboard the R/V Polarstern. During the past two weeks we spent a significant amount of time surveying the region for a suitable ice floe with the help of satellite images, the Akademik Fedorov and helicopters from both ships. A ‘suitable floe’ is one that would support not only the science in terms of available space but also the weight of some of the installations. The piece of ice to which we are currently moored has some of the attributes we are searching for, although we would prefer it to be thicker. Much of the ice we found…
October 5 – Anchoring to ‘DreamFloe’ October 7, 2019 - The ship is now at her final destination, the so-called 'DreamFloe.' This afternoon, the expedition participants were invited to set foot on the ice. I went with Marcel Nicolaus and David Wagner to drill a large auger hole through the ice at a somewhat tall ridge area for Polarstern's anchor. The anchor consists of about a 3 meter long railroad iron inserted vertically into the hole. For safety we also inserted a piece of wood, about 2 meters long into a hole roughly 10 meters beyond the railroad iron. A rope goes from the ship to the railroad iron, then…
September 28 to 30 – #bestfloeever October 1, 2019 - The MOSAiC expedition is now surrounded by ice and the two icebreakers [Polarstern and Federov] are exploring potential floes to build the year long ice camp. Marc Oggier described the process for finding the #bestfloeever. September 28 We just rammed into the southernmost floe candidate... the floe stopped the Academik Federov, but in return developed a long crack, some 100 meters long. At the second trial she halved the floe, sailing along the crack and splitting the floe like a dry piece of black spruce by an axe. We test the strength of the floe by ramming into it. If we split…
September 24 to 27 – Life on an icebreaker September 30, 2019 - September 24 Life is pretty great aboard the [Federov]. We got some northern lights the first night and tonight we had phosphorescence in the wake, tons of very small bulbs of bright light flashing and disappearing quickly. Our routine is fairly regular, breakfast at 7:30 a.m., lunch at 11:30 a.m., tea time at 3:30 p.m. and dinner at 5:30 p.m.. Time for writing and conversing with scientists in-between, as well as relaxing and playing cards in the evening. Northern lights from the MOSAiC expedition. Photo by Stefan Hendricks September 26 Today we started with a safety meeting at 10:00 am.…
September 25 – Underway! September 25, 2019 - The MOSAiC expedition is finally underway! Marc Oggier and I (Rob Rember) arrived in Tromsø on the 10th and 11th of September, respectively. After several years of planning, the RV Polarstern set sail on September 20th from Tromsø, Norway.

MEET THE TEAM

Rob Rember

International Arctic Research Center

UAF science lead, studies the interface between the ocean, ice & atmosphere

Ana Aguilar-Islas

College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

Associate professor, studies macro & micro- nutrients in snow, sea ice & water

Marc Oggier

International Arctic Research Center

Research professional, specializes in sea ice science

Mette Kaufman

International Arctic Research Center

Research professional, specializes in sea ice science

Rachel Lekanoff

College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

PhD student, studies sea ice chemistry, macro & micronutrients