Winter Process Cruise 2021

Frank Nilsen
Chief scientist
University Centre in Svalbard

Ilker Fer
Co-chief scientist
University of Bergen

The Winter Process Cruise aboard RV Kronprins Haakon conducted dedicated observations on processes that control the position and variability of the Polar Front in the northern Barents Sea and the distribution of Arctic and Atlantic water masses. The cruise addressed objectives of the work packages ‘Physical drivers’ (Research Focus 1) and ‘Technology and method development’ (Research Activity C).

The Winter Process Cruise was an air-ice-ocean interaction cruise with concurrent measurements in the ocean, the atmosphere and in sea ice. However, it was primarily a physical oceanography cruise with objectives to collect hydrographic data and current sections in strategic transects, service and redeploy accessible gateway moorings, recover and deploy underwater gliders (cruise duration as well as concluding 4 months missions west and east of Svalbard), and conduct ocean mixing and water transformation process studies in the Barents Sea Polar Front region east of Svalbard. Further, the cruise was used to develop advanced robot technology and self-propelled crafts in both ocean and atmosphere in order to study the Polar Front and air-ice-ocean interaction in more detail. Beside the Polar Front, Kvitøyarenna – a deep trench between Nordaustlandet and Kvitøya – was studied. Here, a sea ice camp was established allowing the collection of data in the atmosphere, in the sea ice and in the water column during a 36 hours drift.

9. February – 1. March 2021

Northwestern Barents Sea