Norseman II in
                            water, from NorsemanMaritimeCom
Norseman II

  7th - 15th July 2017, Nome to Nome,
Chief Scientist: Rebecca Woodgate (University of Washington, USA)

Corresponding author: Rebecca Woodgate (

An NSF-supported collaboration between University of Washington (UW)  (lead PI: Rebecca Woodgate),
University of Texas, Austin 
(Co PIs: Patrick Heimbach, An Nguyen),
with links also to Oregon State University (lead PI: Laurie Juranek and Burke Hales)
and University of Alaska, Fairbanks (PIs: Peter Winsor and Hank Statscewich)

2017 Bering Strait Mooring Cruise
2017 Norseman II Cruise Overview
2017 Cruise Map

2017 Preliminary Results on Interannual Change
2017 Full Cruise Report
   2017 Norseman II Mooring Cruise Report - July
   2016 Norseman II Mooring Cruise Report - July
2015 Norseman II Mooring Cruise Report - July
2014 Norseman II Mooring Cruise Report - June/July
   2013 Norseman II Mooring Cruise Report - July
   Prior Bering Strait work
   Bering Strait Basics - why is it important
   Bering Strait Oceanography (Data, cruises & more)

** Preliminary results show 2016 winter freshening, and 2017 anomalously early spring warming in the strait, leading to June 2017 temperatures ~ 3 degrees C higher than climatology **


As part of the Bering Strait project funded by NSF-AON (Arctic Observing Network), in July 2017 a team of US scientists undertook a ~ 8 day cruise in the Bering Strait and southern Chukchi Sea region on the US vessel Norseman II, operated by Norseman Maritime Charters.
The primary goals of the expedition were:
1) recovery of 3 moorings carrying physical oceanographic (Woodgate-NSF) and whale acoustic (Stafford) instrumentation. These moorings were deployed in the Bering Strait region in 2016 from the Norseman II. The funding for the physical oceanographic components of these moorings comes from NSF-AON.
2) deployment of 3 moorings in the Bering Strait region, carrying physical oceanographic (Woodgate) and whale acoustic (Stafford) instrumentation. The funding for the physical oceanographic components of these moorings comes from NSF-AON.
3) accompanying CTD sections (without water sampling).
4) collection of accompanying ship's underway data (surface water properties, ADCP, meteorological data).
5) deployment of an autonomous glider in the southern Chukchi Sea (Statscewich).

6) deployment of two IABP (International Arctic Buoy Program) drifters (Rigor).

Due to mostly reasonably calm, clear weather, all moorings were safely recovered and redeployed, and a total of 342 CTD casts (on 19 lines) were taken.  For full details, and preliminary results, see:

                of Bering Strait 2017 mooring cruise
Figure: Ship-track, blue.  Mooring sites, black.  CTD stations, red.  Glider deployment site, yellow.  Arrows indicate direction of travel (on inset below, blue during mooring operations before CTD survey, green during CTD survey).  Depth contours every 10m from the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) [Jakobsson et al., 2000].  Lower panels give detail of strait region at the start (left) and end (right) of the cruise.  See cruise report for daily detail. 

  (as pdf)
Post-cruise calibrations and subsequent further data quality control are still to be performed, however, preliminary data suggest some remarkable changes in the strait in the last year, viz:

- 2017 June temperatures ~ 3 degrees warmer than climatology; (see here (left) and here (left))
- a ~15-30day early warming in the strait in 2017; (see here (right))
- a late cooling in the strait in 2016 (~20 days late in the hourly data); (see here (right))
- 2016 winter freshenings of ~ 1psu under climatology; (see here (left))
- record maximum freshwater fluxes in 2016 of ~ 3500km3/yr (relative to 34.8psu); (see here (right))
- record high northward flows in fall 2016 (in 30day smoothed data). (see here (left))
For overview, see summary of preliminary interannual results.  For full details, see full cruise report.

2016 and 2017  Underway (~ 3m/surface) Temperature
Underway Temperature data from Bering
                        Strait Mooring cruises in 2016 and 2017 showing
                        2017 to be anomalously warm, Woodgate et al.,
When is the strait warm? (times above 0degC)From Bering Strait mooring data, estimate
                        of first and last day above 0degC and length of
                        the summer season, Woodgate et al., 2017

2016 and 2017  compared to the 1990-present data set
Comparison of 30-day smoothed transport,
                        temperature and salinity data from the Bering
                        Strait from 2016 and 2017 to the entire mooring
                        data set (1990-present) and climatology,
                        Woodgate et al., 2017

Annual Means for key Bering Strait parameters
Preliminary estimates of annual mean
                        transports, temperatures, salinities, heat and
                        freshwater fluxes for the Bering Strait,
                        Woodgate et al., 2017

FULL Bering Strait 2017 Mooring Cruise Report
(also available in high resolution)

For use of any of these figures, please contact
Rebecca Woodgate (

Polar Science Center, University of Washington, 2017

We gratefully acknowledge financial support for this work the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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