Earlier Deployments

NPEO 2004 Deployment Planning

The fifth North Pole Environmental Observatory field operations are tentatively planned for April 12 through May 10, 2004, with the first team of scientists and support personnel scheduled to arrive on-site at Borneo Ice Airport on April 17.  Borneo is a privately-operated Russian / French ice station established each spring since 1994 in the North Pole region. It is named and (sometimes spelled Barneo) in Russian for the great Indonesion island to suggest a place as far from the central Arctic as imaginable. Negotiations to use Borneo have been conducted through the National Science Foundation's logistics contractor Veco Polar Resources. (See tentative occupancy chart). Andy Heiberg and Dean Stewart of the University of Washington will provide logistics planning and coordination and camp support. During three intense weeks of field operations, plans include:


Mooring recovery and installation
Objectives: Recover mooring deployed in 2003; deploy new mooring.
Knut Aagaard, University of Washington, PI

The third NPEO mooring installed at 89.5°North and 54°East in April 2003 will be recovered, the data retrieved, and the instruments brought home to Seattle for calibration. Each mooring includes an upward-looking sonar to measure ice draft, precision temperature/conductivity recorders, an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to measure water and ice velocity; and current meters to measure water velocity, temperature, and conductivity. Three divers will be on-site to assist with the recovery, guiding the 2500m of instrumented line up through a hole melted through the ice. A fourth NPEO mooring outfitted with a similar array of instrumentation will be deployed. Mooring field team members include Jim Johnson, Mike Welch, Paul Aguilar, and Kevin Parkhurst, all of the University of Washington.

Automated drifting stations

Objectives: Deploy the JAMSTEC, PMEL and NPGS drifting buoys in the North Pole vicinity, and deploy two NOAA buoys for the International Arctic Buoy Program.

Takatoshi Takizawa, Japan Marine Science and Technology Center, PI
A new JAMSTEC Compact Arctic Drifter (J-CAD) will be deployed by Twin Otter west of Lomonosov Ridge, as J-CAD 6 was in 2003. J-CAD 6, deployed by NPEO in April 2002, remains in the Arctic Basin and has been transmitting depth, temperature, salinity, wind direction, and wind speed data via satellite. The data are updated hourly to the NPEO website.

Jim Overland, NOAA/PMEL, PI
PMEL/NOAA's 2004 deployments will include a meteorological station to measure wind speed and direction, air temperature and air pressure; radiometers to measure solar and sky radiation; two mass balance buoys, and a Web Cam to track the North Pole snow cover, weather conditions and the status of PMEL's North Pole instrumentation. Certain of the NOAA/PMEL buoys will be installed along with the new J-CAD buoy and the remainder at Borneo. Information about the Web Cams deployed at NPEO in 2002 and 2003 is available at the NOAA North Pole Web Cam Page.

The Mass Balance Buoys (also called ice-temperature buoys, PMEL/CRREL buoys or drifting buoys) include a chain of thermistors that measure temperatures from the air down through the snow cover, through the sea ice, and into the sea water below the ice. The chain is several meters long, and has temperature sensors every 5-10 cm. One of the buoys also includes an acoustic pinger that measures the depth of the snow on top of the sea ice. These buoys transmit data through the NOAA Argos satellite. Drift track and data are available on the NOAA North Pole Weather Data Page and from the NPEO website.

Tim Stanton, Naval Postgraduate School, PI
A new Autonomous Ocean Flux Buoy will be deployed at Borneo. This buoy includes an instrument cluster with an acoustic Doppler current profiler, precision temperature and conductivity sensors, and velocity, tilt and heading sensors set 4.5 m below the ice. A low power acoustic travel time current sensor, a stable conductivity cell and a very high-resolution thermistor measure velocities, salinity and temperature. Correlating fluctuations of vertical velocity with horizontal velocity, temperature, and salinity fluctuations can be used to estimate the vertical transport of momentum, heat and salt through the ocean mixed layer.

Automated drifting station team members include  Sigrid Salo from NOAA/PMEL, Tim Stanton from the Naval Postgraduate School, and Takashi Kikuchi and Masaki Taguchi of the Japanese Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC).

Aerial Hydrographic Surveys
Objectives: To determine the position of major water mass boundaries and the distribution of water types across key sections of the Arctic Ocean.
Jamie Morison and Michael Steele, University of Washington, Kelly Falkner, Oregon State University, PIs

The NPEO Hydrochemical Survey will be carried out by Twin Otter aircraft between Alert and the North Pole. We plan to revisit locations that were surveyed during NPEO 2001. Each station will consist of an expendable CTD (XCTD) launch followed by a deep CTD cast (maximum 1000 m) accompanied by Niskin bottles at four depths. The CTD carries a dissolved oxygen sensor and the bottles will be sampled for salinity, dissolved oxygen, oxygen isotopes of seawater, nutrients and barium. Previous stations are profiled at the NPEO Aerial CTDs Page . The chemical data may be found at Kelly Falkner’s website under Research Projects. In addition, these data are archived at at the Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Data Coordination Center.

Hydrographic survey team members include Kelly Falkner of Oregon State University and Jamie Morison of the University of Washington.


Circulation in the Freshwater Switchyard of the Arctic Ocean (FSAO)
Separate from the North Pole Environmental Observatory but also sponsored by NSF (grant OPP-0230427) and sharing certain logistics resources, the Freshwater Switchyard of the Arctic Project is a Freshwater Initiative of the Arctic Community-wide Hydrologic Analysis and Monitoring Program (CHAMP). A summarizing Powerpoint presentation (steele.ppt) may be downloaded. Switchyard field work this year consists of two aerial surveys immediately following the NPEO 2004 deployment, and based out of CFS Alert on northern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.

The Shelf Break Helicopter Survey ( Michael Steele, University of Washington,PI) will carry out a 120-km CTD section across the coastal shelf break near 65°W for a second year using a Bell 206 helicopter. As many as ten stations are planned, each consisting of a 500 meter CTD cast with a dissolved oxygen sensor, an expendable current meter launch, and collection of a surface water sample. Helicopter survey team members include Michael Steele, Wendy Ermond, and Roger Andersen of the University of Washington.

The Alert—North Pole Twin Otter Survey (PIs Bill Smethie & Peter Schlosser of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory) will use the newly-developed THICR = THrough-Ice Ctd Rosette, a compact rosette with six 3-liter bottles designed to fit through fit through a 12-inch hole in the ice. Water samples will be drawn at the land base to reduce time required on station.