Sunday, 14 June 2009

Canada and the Arctic

This summer I have been given the opportunity to work in Canada and participate in a oceanographic cruise in the Arctic through a link between the Oceanography Centre in Southampton and the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS) on Vancouver Island. In total I will be spending 8 weeks in Canada of which 4 are on board the Canadian icebreaker the CCGS Henry Larsen. I leave for Canada on the 16th of July and will be spending the first two weeks of my trip working in the labs at the IOS getting up to speed with what we will be studying in the Arctic. I hope over the weekends to travel around the local area and visit Vancouver itself.

For the month of August I will be aboard the CCGS Henry Larsen participating in the 2009 cruise of the Canadian Archipelago Throughflow Study. From Vancouver we will fly to Thule in Greenland where we will board the ship. From here we will head north up the Nares Strait as far as the ice allows. Returning south we will head west into the Jones Sound, through Cardigan strait and Penny Strait before disembarking as Resolute Bay.

The purpose of the cruise is to retrieve instruments for measuring current, ice drift, ice thickness and temperature-salinity placed there in 2007. We will service and re-deploy each mooring. There will also be hydrographic programme running, with CTD (Salinity, Temperature, Depth) and sampling for a number of geochemical tracers. An on-ice programme oriented towards thick multi-year floes, measuring thickness, internal temperature and strength will also be carried out. The idea behind the cruise is to measure the amount of freshwater flowing through the Nares Strait and into the areas of deep water formation. This
link provides and very good description (Non oceanographer friendly!!).

Assuming no delays getting back from the Arctic, I will be spending the last two weeks travelling around British Columbia with a friend from Southampton who is also working at the IOS.

Through out the trip I hope to keep you all updated with what I am getting up to both at the labs, on board the Henry Larsen and as I travel around. I will also be posting stuff I learn whilst I am away for those who are interested but feel free to ignore the oceanographic jargon!!

Anyways until I go, have a look at this
blog which was written on the 2007 Canadian Archipelago Throughflow Study cruise. It will give you some idea of what I am going to be getting up to and has some fantastic photos!

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