A rosette that collected trace metals in seawater from selected ocean depths operated by Old Dominion University is recovered after a long cast in the Arctic Ocean.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, oceanographer Jim Swift is among researchers from several universities aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy on a cruise to measure conditions and collect samples at the same locations visited by scientists in 1994 and 2005. Swift said the cruise would provide a look at 21 years of change in the temperature, salinity, oxygen, nutrients, chlorofluorocarbons, and dissolved carbon in Arctic Ocean waters from surface to bottom. The part of the program led by Swift measures and interprets the distributions of seawater characteristics such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients including nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and silicate in the water column.
In a cruise log, Swift noted that in 1994, the ice was so thick that helicopters had to be dispatched to scout a passable route for the cutter. From a point 220 nautical miles from the North Pole, he noted on Aug. 30 that "none of the ice adjacent to the ship has yet been substantial enough to permit scientific sampling of and from the ice."
The cruise continues through Oct. 12. Photo: Bill Schmoker/PolarTREC