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> 09-27-05: Going Out of the Ice..., ...and expecting heavy seas to Tromso
post Sep 27 2005, 10:05 PM
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Going out of the ice and expecting heavy seas going to Tromso

Ship Position at 2005/09/27 12:15:01 UTC
Longitude: 6 8.410 E Latitude: 78 32.734 N
"IBCAO" depth: 2190 m

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Looking at the satellite pictures and talking to the ships navigator it was clear, that we will be leaving the ice soon. Yesterday, we observed 7 polar bears and lots of birds following in our ships track. A sign that land is close.

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Over the last two days we tried to reach our last science stations going back into thicker than expected pack ice. Our last coring station was reached yesterday morning with a lot of backing and ramming. We collected both a multi core and a JPC core. The coring process occurred under subzero conditions with quite a wind chill factor. Our MST’s , Dale Hubbard and the whole coring group worked very hard to make the last coring station a successful one.

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The total sediment core recovered from both cruises of HOTRAX is 474 meters. Chief scientist Dennis Darby is very pleased with the preliminary results of HOTRAX 2005. “We have collected some of longest cores in the difficult to reach areas of the central Arctic Ocean. This core material will provide the basis for many studies over the next several years by both U.S. and international scientists”, he said.

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Our seismic researchers have logged the longest transect seismic data line ever on a single cruise through the Arctic ocean under ice conditions.

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Our “Seismic cowboys” tried it again yesterday and deployed the multichannel seismic streamer and air gun array promptly loosing nearly everything when a large block of ice caught the towed equipment and severed it. We are still sampling underway seismic data for mapping the seafloor until the cruise ends in Tromso on Friday.

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Knowing that we will leave the ice today I got up around 6 am and took photos for documentation. It is now 11 am and the ice on the Arctic Ocean is gone completely. The photos show how dramatic the change was. Accompanied by an otherworldly sunrise those 5 mornings hours will be remembered forever. Heading south and expecting rough seas, stay tuned.

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Best Regards,
Ute Kaden
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