The buoys are developed at KTH by Jakob Kuttenkeuler and his group and will measure water temperature at 10 m above the seafloor at their respective locations every 15 minutes until November 2018, when they will surface and transmit the temperature timeseries measured.

The 7 Islands Expedition has moved south one degree of latitude and is now at 79 deg North in Kongsfjorden. On the way south, we got to enjoy watching a humpback whale very close to us.

Humpback whale.
Humpback whale.

In Kongsfjorden, the last days have been full of activity doing a bathymetric survey of the seabed which the retreating Kronebreen glacier has recently exposed, and, even more interesting, with “scanning” the underwater portions of its calving front. Two more LoTUS buoys have been deployed, and will collect a one-year time series of water temperature at two locations close to the calving front. Measurements shall help to quantify the impact which changes in the watermasses approaching the glacier front have on patterns and magnitude of calving events.
 

Glacier front with mountains on the back
Kronebreen.
LoTUS (buoy) deployment from the boat
LoTUS deployment.

After some major calving Viking Explorer made several attempts to do a repeat scan of the underwater portion of the ice front, but wind and ice conditions in the fjord prohibited any further such plans. Navigating through the ice melange would imply a high risk of damaging the sensitive multibeam echo sounder that is mounted to the bow of Viking Exlorer and positioned ca 1.5 m below the water surface.

Viking Explorer, UNIS research vessel
Viking Explorer.
Ice melange in Kongsfjord.
Ice melange in Kongsfjord.

Viking Explorer is now heading to Isfjorden, where a couple of days of field work are to be completed before returning to the port of Longyearbyen.

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In cooperation with the University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, two LoTUS buoys were deployed on August 4, 2016, close to the Ross Island/Seven Islands in the Barents Sea, at 80N 20E and 80N 21 E, respectively. The buoys are developed at KTH by Jakob Kuttenkeuler and his group and will measure water temperature at 10 m above the seafloor at their respective locations every 15 minutes until November 2018, when they will surface and transmit the temperature timeseries measured. The LoTUS instruments were deployed during an extensive geophysical (multibeam) survey of the seafloor around the Seven Islands. More LoTUS buoys are to be deployed in the coming two weeks in Kongsfjorden and Isfjorden, western Svalbard. Continuous longterm measurements of (changes in) water temperatures close to calving glacier fronts will give important information on the ocean forcing on calving Arctic tidewater glaciers. Expedition participants are: Maria Laidla (MSc student) from the Department of Physical Geograoy at Stockholm University, Riko Noormets from the Department of Arctic Geology, UNIS and Nina Kirchner from the Bolin Centre for Climate Research and Department of Physical Geography at Stockholm University.

Google maps Seven Islands
two scientist preparing the buoys on the boat
Nina Kirchner and Riko Noormets preparing deployment LoTUS.
buoy deployed from the boat
Nina Kirchner deploying LoTUS.
Researcher Nina Kirchner deploying a buoy
Nina Kirchner deploying LoTUS.
Polar bear on a little iceberg
Ursus Maritimus.
Martensöja, beach
Martensöja.
Walrosses lying on the beach
Walrosses at Martensöja.

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