NPEO 2014 Field Reports

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To learn more about Ice Camp Barneo you can read their  LiveJournal 2014.

Last year’s deployment was followed at  NPEO 2013 Field Reports

Reports will be revised as initial content gets added to or corrected.


NPEO 2014 Report #21
= Thursday, April 24 Alert – Email from Jamie Morison
Today we finished up with a short trip to L3, L2, and L1. We could not get to L3 due to fog, but  did a station midway between L3 and L2 which are close together anyway. I was being careful to not go too deep but still hit bottom.  Ditto even more so at the station very near L1; hit it while doing your 100m soaker profile to 119 m. There is a lot of variation in depth out there! Anyway, no harm done. the profiles look good. We have used commando water sampling all the way.  Tomorrow, we head for Resolute.  The rest of my trip ias pretty much up in the air still.

NPEO 2014 Report #20
= Thursday, April 24 Alert – Email from Jamie Morison
Yesterday the 23rd, we Henry, Mike Knox and I flew out and got Targets L7, L5, and
L4 (L6 was done on the way here on the 21st). Small problems but weather was
nice and results good. Today we’ll try for L1, L2 and L3.

NPEO 2014 Report #19
= Tuesday, April 22 Alert – Phone call from Jamie Morison
Interrupting the long flight from Barneo to Alert, Jamie and the Twin crew found a weather hole at about 86°N 75°W  (Target L6) where they landed and recorded a CTD-O2 profile with the portable winch.  This morning at Alert. studying the local weather and satellite photos, they chose to wait for tomorrow to go back out and try to get two more stations, hoping to get a “mini-Switchyard” oceanographic survey of the Lincoln Sea.

NPEO 2014 Report #18
= Monday, April 21 Longyearbyen – Email from Tom Quinn
Jamie Morison and the Twin Otter crew took off from Barneo for Alert, intending to make two landings on the Lincoln Sea to get CTD profiles with the portable winch along the way.  Alert has reported the Twin had arrived.  The last An-74 flight from Barneo is 30 minutes out of Longyearbyen with Andy, Matt, John, and Dean, their samples and equipment.

Barneo —  April 21, 2014    N88° 03.570′  E 013 ° 28.341‘   —  Visibility 10 miles,  -19° C, wind NW 5 m/s , 742 mm, distance to Pole 215 km

Barneo —  April 20, 2014    N88° 11.150′  E 013° 59.530′   —  Snow and drifting snow, visibility 1000 m,  -17° C, wind NW 10 m/s , 735 mm, distance to Pole 181 km

NPEO 2014 Report #17
= Saturday, April 19 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie MorisonAnother wind storm blew in today, and the NPEO team is hunkered down, hoping it will clear enough to get at least two more CTD-O2 and Chemistry stations tomorrow.

Barneo —  April 19, 2014    N88° 22.100′  E 013° 04.964‘   —  Blowing snow, visibility 500 m,  -22° C, wind NW 13 m/s , 735 mm, distance to Pole 181 km

NPEO 2014 Report #16
= Friday, April 18 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
The Twin Otter was held at Barneo for poor visibility during the morning hours, but it improved during the afternoon allowing a flight to the Pole where a single CTD-O2 and Chemistry station was obtained.  The team was advised the last two An-74 flights from Barneo to Longyearbyen will be Monday April 21.

Barneo —  April 18, 2014    N88° 27.659′  E 013° 45.654′   —  Visibility 10 km,  -21° C, wind NE 5 m/s , 733 mm, distance to Pole 177 km

NPEO 2014 Report #15
= Thursday, April 17 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
On Wednesday, the Twin Otter flew down 90E, but got scared off by the weather south of 87N, and got a single CTD-O2 and Chemistry station at 87N 90E.  Today was nicer, and they flew farther and got stations at 85N and 86N, both on 90E.  They are getting in the groove too, each station taking 2.5 hours.  At Barneo, Dean Stewart put out ablation stakes in front of WebCam#1.  John’s CTD and turbulence profiling program is in high gear, recording 10 good, slow profiles today.

Barneo —  April 17, 2014    N88° 34.687′  E 015° 30.033‘   —  Visibility 10 km,  -23° C, wind NE 5 m/s , 747 mm, distance to Pole 161 km

 —  April 16, 2014    N88° 39.223′  E 016° 11.994′   —  Visibility 10 km,  -28° C, wind NE 2 m/s , 753 mm, distance to Pole 150 km

NPEO 2014 Report #14
= Tuesday, April 15 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
Taking advantage of improving weather, the Twin Otter flew down 180 seeking adequate conditions for landing for CTD stations.  Fog prevented a landing at 86N 175W , but coming back, they were able to land at 87N 180, and got a full depth CTD station with water samples.  As they finished, troubles with the Herman Nelson heater dictated a retreat to Barneo to preserve the water samples rather than attempt another CTD station.  At Barneo, John Guthrie’s  CTD profiling program with the MicroRider turbulence package is working.  The French team returned to Longyearbyen having deployed their buoy monitored by Webcam#2.  They took Webcam#3 with them, hoping to resolve a focus problem and send it back out to Barneo.

Barneo —  April 15, 2014    N88° 41.735′  E 018° 11.162′   —  Visibility 7 miles,  -24° C, wind NE 6 m/s , 742mm, distance to Pole 145 km

NPEO 2014 Report #13
= Monday, April 14 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
The storm gradually blew itself out with lingering blowing snow.  By afternoon the team was clearing blown snow out of the generator and Herman Nelson heater and preparing to make their first CTD flight tomorrow down 90°E.

Barneo —  April 14, 2014    N88° 46.674 ‘  E 019° 16.129’  —  Blowing snow,  visibility 5 km,  -27° C, wind N 5 m/s , 736 mm, distance to Pole 142 km.

NPEO 2014 Report #12
= Sunday, April 13 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
High winds and blowing snow made this pretty much a rest day at Barneo, with no flying.  Webcam#1 was installed before conditions got too difficult.  John Guthrie made progress with his Barneo CTD setup.

Barneo —  April 13, 2014    N88° 55.799 ‘  E 016° 33.108’   —  Visibility 50-100 m,  -24° C, wind NW 25 m/s , 736 mm

NPEO 2014 Report #11
= Saturday, April 12 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison

Kenn Borek Twin Otter C-GKBG (Captain Henri Perk, First Officer Mike Knox and Flight Engineer Peter Janto) arrived direct from Alert, where they took on fuel and changed to board skis for sea ice operations.  The weather is deteriorating.  The CTD winch and chemistry lab was set up in the aircraft, and a test cast  made through a ten-inch hole to 300 meters confirmed the Sea-Bird CTD-O2 and Isus Nitrate sensors were healthy.  With the rising wind, Barneo has just passed south of 89°N in the direction of Fram Strait.

Barneo —  April 12, 2014    N 89° 01.030′  E 018° 51.113′     —  Clear, visibility 10 miles,  -31° C, wind NW 10 m/s , 746 mm, distance to Pole 115 km.

NPEO 2014 Report #10
= Friday, April 11 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
The WHOI team plus Jamie Morison and Dean Stewart, with Sergei Pisarev and a few  of his colleagues flew upstream down latitude 180° from Barneo and planted their 2014 buoy farm, which includes an Ice Tethered Profiler (ITP), an Autonomous Ocean Flux Buoy, an Ice Mass Balance (IMB) Buoy, and one Surface Velocity Program (SVP) Buoy.  Deployments went smoothly enough that Rick, Chris, and Jeff made it back to Barneo in time to catch the An-74  out to Longyearbyen.  The Twin Otter is due to arrive at Barneo from Canada late tonight.

Barneo —  April 11, 2014    N 89° 06. 815 ‘  E 011° 47. 745 ‘    —  Clear, visibility 10 miles,  -30° C, wind N 7 m/s , 753 mm.

NPEO 2014 Report #9

= Thursday, April 10 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
Webcam#1 was set up on a box outside their hut and transmitted three good-quality images over Iridium.  Webcam#1’s battery tube was installed on the floe with the earlier-deployed buoys.  Matt Alkire arrived at Barneo, together with the WHOI team, Rick Krishfield, Kris Newhall, and Jeff Pietro,  who are preparing for the buoy party tomorrow.

Barneo —  April 10, 2014    N 89° 08.449 ‘  E 011° 49.653’   —  Visibility 10 miles,  -30° C, wind N 6 m/s , 761 mm, distance to Pole 96 km.

NPEO 2014 Report #8

= Wednesday, April 9 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
Barneo position N 89° 11.821′  E 012° 25.962′, Clear, -25°C.   The PAWS Buoy was installed and turned on at Barneo, and they dug the hole for John Guthrie’s CTD program.  John found the correct serial cable modification to allow him to login to the webcam and correct the clock

Barneo —  April 9, 2014    N 89° 12.562 ‘  E 012° 41.425’   —  Visibility 10 km -28° C, wind SE 2 m/s , 760 mm

NPEO 2014 Report #7
= Tuesday, April 8 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
Today the team made a Mi-8 helicopter flight to the exact North Pole to download the Arctic Bottom Pressure Recorder.  They found near perfect conditions, with the ice nearly motionless and still, and were able to capture the entire last year’s record and even fill in the gaps from the past three years.  They are continuing to troubleshoot the Webcam buoy.

Barneo —  April 8, 2014    N 8 ° 14.619′  E 013° 25.652′   —  Visibility 800 meters -26 ° C, wind SE 2 m/s , 766 mm

NPEO 2014 Report #6
= Monday, April 7 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
Frédéric Vivier’s Ice-T buoy was installed today, and Victoria Hill returned to Longyearbyen.

Barneo —  April 7, 2014    N 89° 15.615 ‘ E 013° 41.060  —  Clear, visibility 10 miles,  -29 ° C, wind NE 3 m/s , 767 mm

NPEO 2014 Report #5
= Saturday, April 6 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
N 89° 17.4′ E 14° 42.9′, -26°C, 1020mb.  Victoria Hill’s buoy was installed today, after an ice profile of optical properties was obtained.  This buoy includes an upward-facing camera under the ice that reports images of the underside. More buoy installations are planned for Barneo tomorrow.  The Webcam buoy has a cable issue that is not completely resolved.

At Barneo, a Russian exercise to practice preparedness to react to a commercial airliner accident on a polar flight has begun and is expected to continue of the next few days, involving parachutists and air-drops from IL-76 aircraft.
A routine seems to have developed with Jamie phoning about 9pm UTC (11pm Barneo time) when they are getting ready to sleep. Matt Alkire left Seattle for Longyearbyen and Barneo today.
Barneo —  April 6, 2014    N 89° 19.192 ‘ E 015° 46.220’  —   -27 ° C, wind NE 7 m/s , 762 mm
NPEO 2014 Report #4
= Saturday, April 5 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
The NPEO team  now has their own hut, complete with heat, light and power.  Much of the effort today focused on surveying the floe for the best buoy locations.  Most of the camp area is only 1.4m thick.
Barneo —  April 5, 2014    N 89° 22′  E 018° 15′  —  Visibility 10 miles, –23 ° C, wind 6 m/s, distance to Pole 70 km, lots of open water in the area and a fourth bear visit since the camp opened
NPEO 2014 Report #3
= Friday, April 4 Barneo – Iridium call from Jamie Morison
The NPEO team  – Andy Heiberg, Jamie Morison, Victoria Hill, John Guthrie, and Dean Stewart – landed at Barneo at 1037 UTC today. Camp is still under construction, and so far they only have a small, dark cave of a tent to sleep and try to work in.  But it is warm.  Shortly after arriving, a polar bear alarm sent everyone to the mess hall until that situation was resolved.  He reports steady progress sorting equipment and getting equipment that wants to stay warm out of the cold.
= Friday, April 4 Longyearbyen – Email from Tom Quinn 
The NPEO team departed mid-morning.  I just spoke with Andy and they are at Barneo getting settled in.
Barneo —  April 4, 2014    N 89° 25′  E 021° 53′  —  Visibility 10 km, –20 ° C, wind NE 6 m/s, 750 mm Hg
Barneo —  April 3, 2014   N 89° 27.927 ‘  E 031° 16.378’  —  Blustery, -15 ° C, with the wind gusting to 15 m s, 744 mm Hg
Today the first Antonov An-74  landing was accomplished in very challenging weather conditions, so the camp is now officially open.
Barneo —  April 2, 2014   N 89° 31.27′  E 047° 24.44′  — Blizzard, visibility 800 meters in blowing snow and low clouds, -20°C, wind 15 m/s, distance to Pole 40 km
NPEO 2014 Report #2
= Tuesday, April 2 Longyearbyen – Email from Jamie Morison
Things are going well here, our equipment is staged and ready for weighing, and our only technical issue is resetting the WebCam clock. Virginia Hill arrived here today and joined the growing NPEO team for dinner. Frederic Vivier and Antonio Lorenco have their ice mass balance buoy ready for deployment and have been explaining to us how to set it up. We finally found our Russian friends who will set up Borneo and it was bear hugs all around. They departed LYR in the AN-74 with the first load of camp gear around 2000 local tonight. If all goes well we should follow in their footsteps on Friday April 4.
Barneo —  April 1, 2014   N 89° 33.04′  E 055° 48.09′  — Light haze, -23°C, 1010mb, wind 5-7 m/s 
NPEO 2014 Report #1
= Tuesday, April 1 Longyearbyen – Emails from Jamie Morison & John Guthrie

We all arrived in Longyearbyen Sunday afternoon as scheduled and we have located nearly all our equipment. We are staging out of a hanger at the airport that was just today vacated by airlift. We understand that the Borneo operation is a day or two behind schedule but there are no major obstacles. On Sunday they had about 400 m of runway complete. I think the Antonov 74 arrives today sometime, with the first flight of camp gear possibly tomorrow. Although we’ve seen no sign of it or the Russian camp workers. Andy may know more by this time. Comms aren’t really easy right now because the wi-fi is not accessible yet at our living quarters yet, hence this is being sent from UNIS.

John turned on, and later power-cycled Webcam#1 to test it at Longyearbyen, and two image sets were transmitted across Iridium.
Barneo —  March 31, 2014   N 89° 35.47′  E 065° 38.15′  — Clear, -26°C, wind 7-8m/s
Ilyushin Il-76 mission from Murmansk accomplished overnight, air-dropping construction machinery to build the runway, helicopter fuel, and parachutists.  Runway construction has begun.
Barneo —  March 30, 2014   N 89° 38′  E 093° 04′  — Camp under construction
The first members of the NPEO 2014 deployment team left Seattle on Saturday March 29, and arrived in Longyearbyen on Sunday March 30.

Brief Description of the North Pole Environmental Observatory

The purpose of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supported North Pole Environmental Observatory (NPEO) is to help track and understand ongoing changes in the Arctic environment. Consistent with the goal of the NSF Program for Long-Term Observations in the Arctic, NPEO increases the availability of long-term environmental data in the Arctic by providing data and infrastructure for other polar science and climate investigations. NPEO was first established in 2000 and includes an automated drifting station of buoys fixed to the sea ice, an ocean mooring, and airborne hydrographic surveys.

We are grateful to NSF’s Office of Polar Programs for their support of these projects (NSF Grants OPP-0352754OPP-0230427OPP-0230238OPP-0352641OPP-0084858, and OPP-0326109).