Taking cores from the sediments on the seabed can help researchers understand the (distant) past, how the earth looked like back then and how it became the way it is today.
Illustration of the time zones of the world, where the earth is seen from the top (source).
The last week or so we have been doing bathymetric mapping surveys of the seabed in an area more west, close to Canada. We transited from the pole further south, to around 82°N 142°W, for these surveys. Transiting 7° south may not sound like much, but it is approximately 780 km (I wrote about the conversion between degrees and distances here). I was surprised by the noticeable difference in light.
I want to talk a bit about time zones and longitudes, which are actually a bit tricky up North. When you travel east and west in the world, depending on which longitude (breddegrad) you are on, there are different time zones. This is because night and day occur at different times in different places on Earth, due to Earths rotation. I assume most people are familiar with this. The first figure below illustrate the time zones of the world on a map of polar stereographic projection (the North Pole is in the middle, and the equator on the outer edge. I have another post coming up on maps can be tricky business in the Arctic.) You can see that the closer you get to the Pole, the closer are the lines/longitudes and therefore the time zones. Since the longitudes define the time zones, and the longitudes come together at the poles, the time zones in reality change a lot with small distances up here.
Ice conditions and concentration vary greatly in the Arctic Ocean . The last days we have been in transit in open water. The only ice we see are these bits of ice, bobbing up and down in the waves.
The contrast between the motions of the ship in ice and open water is huge. There are no waves in the ice, as they are damped by the ice. As we entered open water, the ship started rolling and pitching more due to the swell. It has been a long time since anyone has been sea sick on the ship, but today there has been a couple of grey faces. Luckily, we are entering more ice soon!
Sailing in a straight line through the open sea is easy. Sailing in a straight line in meters-thick ice is not so straight forwards.
Local time: 2016-02-09 16:21
Position: 82° 23.40’N 141° 13.14’W
Speed: 0.7 knots
Water depth: 2858 m
Wind speed: 6.3 m/s
Air temperature: -2.3°C
Feels like (wind chill): -8.19°C
Sea temperature: -1.4°C
Today we met up with the other ship who is part of the expedition Arctic Ocean 2016, the Louis S. St-Laurent (LSSL). This was the last day where we would sail together, after the meeting we were heading different ways. Therefore, today’s plan was to load over rocks collected from dredging from Oden to LSSL and to visit each other’s ships. Continue reading
If you have seen pictures from the Arctic, or try to google it, what will show up is most likely blue skies, sun and white ice (like the first picture). This is how I imagined it would be. However, I have learned and observed, this is not representative of the average weather up here.
Local time: 2016-08-30 21:19
Position: 82° 34.80’N 138° 19.34’W
Speed: 2.5 knots
Water depth: 3337 m
Wind speed: 11.3 m/s
Air temperature: -0.75°C
Feels like (wind chill): -7.96°C
Sea temperature: -1.5°C
Monday was day 22 out of 44, so now we are over half way in the expedition. Time flies!