Banquise en pleine croissance

  • Cap Sud 2 fevrier

The ice growth is 1.11 cm per day on average since mid-December. It was 0.61 cm/d at the same period last year for the same number of freezing degree-days). The small amount of snow is the main explanation: currently 2 cm against 10 cm a year ago. In addition, the recent acceleration of ice growth shows a decline in oceanic heat source.

Tightly wrapped in a sleeping bag, the icemeter (EM31) has kindly run for two hours yesterday, despite the cold: -36 °C and sustained westerly wind! In my case, I enjoyed the small Plexiglas plate that enhances the windshield 10 cm. The 60 km survey shows that the ice at the entrance of South cape Fiord is thinner, the influence of the ocean is stronger, as we observed when overwintering last year in this fjord.

For its part, the CTD shows that below 150-200 m, ie below the sills isolating the deep waters of Jones Sound, the water is not likely to have changed much in 15 years. In front of Grise Fiord, the depth rapidly exceeds 500 m!

Copépodes etc

  • Plancton 29 janvier 2013
  • Prelevement d eau pour plancton

How to collect plankton by -35°C? The technique was quite effective yesterday: make a hole and fill a large container with sea water using a pump. Bring the container inside, and before filtering, wait a bit as the water warms by just 1°C. Then the filter does not clog with ice.

On the menu: zooplankton (Copepoda) and phytoplankton (Dinoflagellate Ceratium - bottom right - and Diatom Chaetoceros - bottom left). Thank you Pierre Mollo for the identification!

Pas encore la routine

  • CTD avec Aurore
  • Ice growth from FDD at Vagabond January2013

Before receiving a proper auger, allowing us to make holes large enough to launch the CTD, we are looking for seal breathing holes. Preferably in the fractures, where the ice is thinner. Like the hunters, except that we expand the hole without waiting for the seal to come to breathe! The winch is then set up for a CTD cast. A few kilometres from the village, the depth exceeds 500 meters, impressive. Saturday, Jeffrey came back with four seals. While we brought back a few kilobytes.

A fox has eaten one of the cables of the IMB! I protected the other ones with a bit of diesel oil...

The electromagnetic inductive icemeter (EM31) is still giving me a hard time, but it should soon allow us to do long surveys of ice thickness in each of the major fjords around Grise Fiord.

The technique of sampling plankton, before sending images to the program Plankton of the World, is not yet fully developed. Net and screen are freezing too fast, and it is not easy to carry enough water to Vagabond to filter in the warm... All this quickly so that, if possible, the plankton is still alive under the microscope!

Thanks to our daily weather and ice growth data Humfrey Melling is giving us this graph that illustrates the specific character of South Cape Fiord, where Vagabond spent the winter of 2011-2012.