Members of the Stratified Ocean Dynamics of the Arctic cruise science team spell out the project’s acronym on the back deck of University of Alaska Fairbank’s R/V Sikuliaq last month. Drone photo by engineer Alex de Klerk with Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing at University of Washington.
Under chief scientist Jennifer MacKinnon from Scripps Oceanography, the multi-institutional project gathered data on the complicated processes that move water and distribute heat through the Beaufort Sea, which has particular implications for the early melt and late formation of Arctic sea ice in a changing climate.
"The fundamental question driving the SODA program is 'What sets the stratification of the Arctic?', especially in the upper ocean where heat is absorbed and released on shorter-term, societally relevant time-scales," the team wrote in its cruise report.
The 30-day cruise out of Nome, Alaska involved deploying, retrieving, and often re-deploying instruments on platforms ranging from drifters to autonomous wave gliders to mooring-climbing wire-walkers. The Stratified Ocean Dynamics of the Arctic Departmental Research Initiative is funded by the Office of Naval Research.
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