Here we are! We landed in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, on Tuesday and tomorrow morning the expedition finally begins. We will leave Longyearbyen, get out of the fjord and go… where exactly?
Fun fact: I do not know where we are going. I know roughly where we aim to go, but I am not sure which way we will take not where we will exactly be. And the thing is: it is perfectly normal.
Our target area in the Arctic has no clearly defined name. It is somehow northeast of Svalbard, west of the Russian territorial waters. The best name I could come up with is “Barents Sea shelf break” because:
- the Barents Sea is the sea at the south of our region of interest, which we will need to cross to reach our target;
- the (continental) shelf is the area of the sea floor that is relatively shallow, pictured in light blue below;
- and the shelf break is where the sea floor suddenly becomes very deep.
But how can I not know where exactly we will go? There aren’t that many routes up there after all… but there’s sea ice! In particular, because sea ice changes a lot at this season, so that we can’t know what the sea ice will look like on our way until we are actually on our way. Any plan that we make will have to be adjusted at the last minute for sea ice condition.
So that’s why for now, we have a rough idea of what we want to do and where, but there is no point planning it with too much details. That will change anyway!
To get news while we are at sea with no internet:
- Position of the ship and sea ice condition via the University of Bremen.
- Weekly updates on the AWI portal.
- Email-size permitting, pictures on the Gothenburg University Instagram account.