Arctic cruise in Chukchi Sea with RV ARAON

Jeong-Won Park from the Nansen Center has participated in the Arctic cruise in Chukchi Sea to demonstrate sea ice maps for vessels operating in ice. The Nansen Center is developing an integrated sea ice monitoring system to support safe operations and navigation in the Arctic Seas, which is supported by the Research Council of Norway and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research under NORRUSS Project 243608, SONARC: Development of sea ice monitoring and forecasting system to support safe operations and navigation in Arctic Seas.

RV ARAON during the first ice camp: Photo: C.-U. Hyun, KOPRIRV ARAON during the first ice camp: Photo: C.-U. Hyun, KOPRI RV ARAON during the second ice camp: Photo: C.-U. Hyun, KOPRIRV ARAON during the second ice camp: Photo: C.-U. Hyun, KOPRI

The cruise was planned and carried out in collaboration with Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) using their icebreaker, RV ARAON. Total of 44 Scientists and 37 other staffs have participated from 8 countries (China, Croatia, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, United Kingdom, and United States of America) representing 20 different institutes, universities, and companies. The cruise started from Nome, Alaska on 4August and ended at Barrow, Alaska on 26 August. 

The research team collected the physical, chemical, and biological properties of ocean waters and sea ice in various regions of Chukchi Sea. Profiles of water temperature and salinity were obtained with CTD, and an underway XCTD system. Additional sensors on the CTD profiler were collected in situ data on phytoplankton concentrations (fluorometer), optical clarity (transmissometer), dissolved oxygen and photoactive radiation. During the cruise, 27 stations representing various water and ice conditions were investigated and 2 ice camps were carried out. The researches were subdivided into 9 categories: Atmospheric observations, Physical oceanography and mooring, Chemical oceanography, Plankton ecology, Remote sensing, Sea ice observations, Sea ice mechanics, Melt pond, and Sediment. For each subject, dedicated operations were conducted with well scheduled ship and helicopter time. 

Station map of the cruiseStation map of the cruise

The joint remote sensing research team (Jeong-Won Park from the Nansen Center, three scientists from KOPRI, and two scientists from NSIDC) collected in-situ data over two large ice floes located in high Arctic around 78.5°N, 167.5°E. The team measured snow depth on the ice and spectral reflectance of water, snow, and ice for various ice types. A ground laser scanning data and stereo images from drone and helicopter collected during dedicated ice camp periods of 7 days will be used for relating the radar signatures from high resolution spaceborne radar system (SAR) with the actual surface roughness. The main concern of the Nansen Center was to evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of satellite-derived ice maps for ship navigation. Although it is in an early stage of the data analysis, the observed ice features agreed well with the automatically processed ice maps. 

Special thanks to the Chief Scientist, Sung-Ho Kang, and all the crew members and scientists for their support during the successful cruise. 

Ice maps tested during the cruiseIce maps tested during the cruise

Operations at the stations: Photo: various from the joint research teamOperations at the stations: Photo: various from the joint research team

Operations on the ice: Photo: various from the joint research teamOperations on the ice: Photo: various from the joint research team