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Weekly report for R.V. Polarstern expedition ANTXXII-2, report no. 4 (28.11.2004),english version

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Geography


ANT XXII/2 Weekly Report No. 4 29.11. – 05.12.2004 The investigations on, within and underneath the ice floe continued throughout the week. Meteorologists installed their masts with various sensors; the ice biologists drilled ice cores, and the divers -after producing a sufficiently large hole through the ice- inspected the ice from below and collected first planktonic organisms. All groups on the ice were closely followed by curious emperor penguins, who a new penguin species, tried to make contact by calling us, and then moved on after they did not get an appropriate answer. The investigations from the oceanographers continued as well. On Polarstern‘s starboard side CTDs were lowered regularly into the icy water. This instrument measures conductivity, temperature, and depth and the data are used to interpret exchange of water masses. At the same time water samples can be taken from different depths with 24 bottles each of 12 litres volume. The water is divided up for an array of biological, chemical, and physical analyses. In an area of varying bottom topography water mass densities are different between adjacent water bodies. Therefore a tight knit grid of measurements helps to elucidate time and area dependant processes of water mass formation in the Weddell Sea. Since the deep water of the Weddell Sea is the main component of Antarctic Bottom Water, which disperses through the world’s oceans, the significance of its production is of global importance. In addition to the measurements from the drifting ship, a larger area around Polarstern is investigated by means of a mobile winch. This set-up (Heli-CTD) can be transported by helicopters to distances 150km away from the ship. It is deployed on ice floes and can measure water mass characteristics down to a depth of 2000m. New measurements of sea floor topography from our Russian colleagues help to characterize and quantify different pathways of water flow, since the denser and heavier waters preferably disp

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