Ocean exploration north of the Arctic Circle
Dr Graham Oliver and Dr Andy Mackie from the Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology have been offered the chance to take part in a research cruise to the Arctic waters of northern Norway. This cruise is part of the Mareano project, which aims to map the bathymetry, sedimentology and biology of the seabed around Norway. Graham and Andy will be looking for deep water bivalves and ploychaete worms to augment their research here.
Graham takes up the story:
Our ship is in port and we are now on board waiting to depart for the research area south of the Lofoten Islands. Once there we will be taking samples from depths between 200 and 2500metres.
We have arrived in late spring but already the days are long with the sun coming up well before 5am, but then we are north of the Arctic Circle. The snow is still lying thickly but the bright weather makes the mountainous backdrop really spectacular.
We sail around midnight and it will take 24 hours to reach our first station when we start our 12-hour shifts. Lets hope we can then show you the ship at work and hopefully some of the marine life in the Norwegian Sea.
In the meantime here is a flavour of Tromsø. The town is a mixture of old and new, all jumbled up and reflecting a boom time in the 1960’s. The wooden houses are typical of the old town and the Polar museum represents a most modern addition. The city is surrounded by rugged scenery of fjords and mountains. Our ship the GOSars is named after an eminent marine biologist and one of the most modern in the Norwegian research fleet.