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Dispatch 19: Heading Back North

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October 6 Photos
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Mengnan Zhao

October 6, 2015

After recovering Mooring A, we needed a day for battery changes, other assessments and adjustments of the instruments and data examination before redeployment of this mooring. We took this day to head to the northeast to visit a new station in the central basin. Temperatures are dropping fast now as October progresses. Edward told me that the now-expanding edge of the sea-ice pack can move south at a rate of up to 10 km a day. After lunch, the smiling eyes of the sea-ice group made me realize that we were once again surrounded by sea-ice.

The ice group made some ice samples along our transit this afternoon. We made a stop along our track and sent Kazu and Edward over the side of the ship in the basket (the same basket used during our buoy and mooring recoveries). We were surrounded by young sea-ice cover, which was strong due to the low temperature. Unlike at our last ice station, there was almost no snow on the surface of this ice. It was an incredible sight to see the pure flat (un-ridged) ice cover extending to the horizon, with beautiful crystal “sugar frost” and patterns. Jenny tells me that this type of ice is called “nilas” – the patterns on the ice crust are the result of gentle waves during its growth. Kazu and Edward soon finished and were brought back to the fore deck with their fresh ice. The ice is about 8 cm thick, and they will examine its salinity back in the lab.

Our rosette cast started soon after the ice sampling. We were lucky to have sunshine the entire day, and a sunset that dyed the sky and clouds purple and red – we all stopped our work to enjoy the breathtaking moment.

Last updated: October 7, 2019

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