Bottom-Anchored Mooring

In April 2010, the seventh NPEO bottom-anchored mooring was recovered and no replacement was deployed. Future deployments plans are uncertain. Each was anchored more than 4000 meter deep to the abyssal plain near the North Pole. Measurements included ice thickness and drift, water temperature and salinity, and current speed and direction, from near the surface to great depths. (Diagram) Each instrument recorded internally for at least one year. Data from the first seven years' moorings was successfully recovered and analyzed.

Measurement of the precise ocean depth is critical to ensure the Upward Looking Sonar at the top of the mooring is just 50 meters beneath the drifting ice. Recovery of each mooring from beneath the ice is a logistically complex operation, requiring the ability to return to a precise location and, in most cases, divers to go beneath the ice.

The intent was to maintain each year's mooring at the same position. However, slight differences are operationally unavoidable, because of the ice drift during the one-to-three day period between the release of the old mooring and actual deployment of the new one. Closeness to the Pole accounts for the wild-appearing changes in longitude.

Mooring Deployed Recovered Latitude Longitude Depth
NP-01
10 April 2001
22 April 2002
89° 33.412' N
66° 38.820' E
4293m
NP-02
23 April 2002
24 April 2003
89° 27.457' N
53° 31.258' E
4297m
NP-03
25 April 2003
19 April 2004
89° 23.336' N
46° 07.156' E
4301m
NP-04
21 April 2004
20 April 2005
89° 27.288' N
54° 19.744' E
4295m
NP-05
22 April 2005
22 April 2006
89° 15.172' N
64° 41.509' E
4305m
NP-06
24 April 2006
11 April 2008
89° 20.810'N
77° 07.208'E
4315m
NP-08
17 April 2008
16 April 2010
89° 31.527'N
84° 22.488'E
4304m

Data from the first seven mooring years are permanently archived at the Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service (CADIS) and Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Data Archive.  These data may also be obtained via FTP at this website.