- Earlier Deployments
- Switchyard 2006

NPEO 2006 Deployment Planning

The seventh North Pole Environmental Observatory field operations are tentatively planned for April 6 through early May, 2006, with the first team of scientists and support personnel scheduled to arrive on-site at Ice Station Borneo on April 15. Borneo is named and (sometimes spelled Barneo) in Russian for the great Indonesian 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 (pdf). 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 2005; deploy new mooring.
Knut Aagaard, University of Washington, PI

The fifth NPEO mooring installed near 89.5°North and 60 °East in April 2005 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 sixth NPEO mooring outfitted with an array of instrumentation similar to the 2005 mooring will be deployed.

John Christensen, Bigelow Laboratory, PI
In addition to the physical oceanographic instrument suite, a set of bio-optical sensors seeking to monitor the annual cycle of primary production and nutrients will be deployed on the mooring. Instrument packages optically measuring in situ nitrates, chlorophyll, and flourescence will be mounted on the mooring line at about 50 and 120 meters. At the top of the mooring, a multi-spectral light sensor is being added to the Upward-Looking Sonar to measure Mixed Layer "greenness". Bottle samples will be taken following the mooring deployment to complement the moored instruments.

Mooring field team members include Jim Johnson, Keith van Thiel, Jim Ossie, and Kevin Parkhurst of the University of Washington, John Christensen of Bigelow Laboratory, and Tim Boyd of Oregon State University.

Automated drifting stations
Objectives: Deploy the JAMSTEC, PMEL and NPGS drifting buoys in the North Pole vicinity.

Takatoshi Takizawa, Japan Marine Science and Technology Center, PI
A new JAMSTEC Compact Arctic Drifter (J-CAD) will be installed at Borneo. The J-CADs transmit ocean temperature, salinity, and depth and atmospheric pressure and temperature data via satellite. J-CAD 9, deployed at Borneo in April 2005, drifted through Fram Strait and reached the Greenland Sea, ceasing to transmit about 11 February 2006 near  68.5°N and 23.5°W. Atmosphere conditions in the central Arctic are currently monitored by Buoy 25752, deployed in September 2005 by the International Arctic Buoy Programme. Its measurements are updated hourly to the NPEO home page.

Jim Overland, NOAA/PMEL, PI
PMEL/NOAA's 2006 deployments will include a meteorological station to measure wind speed and direction, air temperature and pressure; radiometers to measure solar and sky radiation, a mass balance buoy monitoring ice thickness, and two Web Cams to track the North Pole snow cover, weather conditions and the status of PMEL's North Pole instrumentation, all at Borneo. Information about the Web Cams deployed at NPEO from 2002 through 2004 is available at the NOAA North Pole Web Cam Page. The 2005 PMEL weather buoy also reached the Greenland Sea. Like the JCAD, it ceased transmitting about 20 January 2006 near 72.5°N and 18°W.

The Mass Balance 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. The PMEL 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 fourth 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, Takashi Kikuchi and Jun Inoue from the Japanese Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC), Danielle Langevin from METOCEAN Data Systems in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Ilker Fer from the University of Bergen, Norway.

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 at positions to be determined. Each station will consist of 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)
Distinct from the North Pole Environmental Observatory but also sponsored by NSF  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). Switchyard field work this year consists of two aerial surveys immediately following the NPEO 2005 deployment, and based out of CFS Alert on northern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada.

The Shelf Break Helicopter Survey ( Michael Steele, University of Washington,PI, NSF grant OPP-0230427) will carry out a 120-km CTD section across the coastal shelf break near 65°W for a fourth 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 (XCP) launch, a period of Acoutic Doppler Current Meter (ADCP) sampling, 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 Peter Schlosser & Bill Smethie of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, NSF grant OPP-0230238) 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.

Logistics for the two Switchyard programs (See tentative occupancy chart (pdf) operating from CFS Alert must be coordinated with the Canadian-Danish Lomonosov Ridge Test of Appurtenance (LORITA-1).