NPEO 2013 Field Reports

 To learn more about Ice Camp Barneo you can read their Expedition Diary 2013.

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


Switchyard reports are generally emailed by Roger Andersen from Alert, Nunavut, Canada.

Wednesday, May 8 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
Satellite imagery shows no offshore targets worth a try.

Tuesday, May 7 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
May is fully here.  We are chasing holes in the low clouds seeking decent
contrast for landing.  Cold and windy on the ice.
The SY-UW-Steele team flying in KBG recorded-
    Station UW1UW7 at 2G    85  25.24   -084  -26.16    
    Station UW1UW8 at 2F    83  02.37   -085  -26.91   
The SY-Lamont team flying in CKB recorded-
   LDGEO Station 9  at      83 57.04    -104 -38.81

Monday, May 6 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
Cloud overcast at Alert in the morning for the first time since we arrived.
The SY-Lamont team flying in CKB recorded-
   LDGEO Station 8  at       84 01.47    -095 -01.92

Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
No flying from Alert by station policy.

Friday, May 3 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
Fog beginning to form offshore and visible in the NPEO webcams.
The SY-Lamont team flying in CKB recorded-
   LDGEO Station 6 at L5    85 11.04    -065 -17.13  
   LDGEO Station 7  at      85 52.36    -068 -03.63
The SY-UW-Steele team flying in KBG recorded-
    Station UW1UW5 at 3C   85  58.62   -045  -21.92   
    Station UW1UW6 at 3B   85  37.50   -054  -22.06   

Thursday, May 2 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
The SY-Lamont team flying in CKB recorded-
   LDGEO Station 5 at L7    87 02.34    -085 -12.59  
The SY-UW-Steele team flying in KBG recorded-
    Station UW1UW3 at 2C    85  07.66   -045  -04.10   
    Station UW1UW4 at 3A    84  43.20   -055  -20.40   

Wednesday, May 1 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
The SY-Lamont team flying in CKB recorded-
   LDGEO Station 4 at L4    84 23.26    -064 -36.26

Tuesday, April 30 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
The SY-Lamont team flying in CKB recorded-
   LDGEO Station 2 at L3    84 03.42    -065 -42.88  
   LDGEO Station 3 at L2    83 41.39    -064 -19.97  
The SY-UW-Steele team flying in KBG recorded-
    Station UW1 at 3F    83  05.39   -095  -08.47    
    Station UW2 ar 2K    82  35.19   -083  -06.75   

Monday, April 29 – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
The SY-Lamont team flying in CKB recorded-
   LDGEO Station 1 at L1    83 12.10    -065 -27.02   2013 4 29  15 03


Saturday-Sunday, April 27-28  – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
With the first flying day set for Monday, all hands had the weekend to be ready to go.  The weather continues to look very flyable, most places we wish to go out over the Lincoln Sea, but especially at Alert where we will always need to return.

Friday, April 26  – Alert, Nunavut, Canada
Skier 51 landed the Switchyard team at Alert 11am Local (Eastern Daylight Time), and received arrival briefings and broke down the cargo pallets in the Spinnaker building adjacent to the runway, our usual operational facility which has warm work space.  Both Borek Twin Otters are here:  CKB with a crew of Troy McKerral (Capt.), John Sidewell (First Officer), and Ed Delucca (Engineer) who will be flying for Lamont.  And KBG with a crew of Jim Haffey (Capt.), Sebastian Trudel (First Officer), and Brian Warness (Engineer) who will be shared by the two University of Washington groups.  Jim Milne and Al Trembly at Alert had received the KEEP FROM FREEZING water samples and KEEP FROZEN snow samples from NPEO, and from them we learned this season’s base flying schedule policy.  Basically we will be able to fly into the evening during the week, but there will be no flying out of Alert on weekends.  This might be revisited in case we lose significant midweek flying time to weather.

Thursday, April 25  – Kangerlusuaq, Greenland
At the hotel, the West Coast contingent met the Switchyard group from Lamont Doherty including Dale Chayes, Richard Perry, Ronny Friedrich, and Angelika Pascualini.  An Air National Guard bus picked up the combined team at 5am, and by 0835 were northbound in Skier 51 (C130 3300) non-stop to Kanger in Greenland, where we stayed overnight in the KISS (Kangerlusuaq International Science Support) facility.

Wednesday, April 24  – Scotia, NY
Wendy Ermold, Jason Gobat, Jim Johnson, Adam Huxtable, and Roger Andersen flew from Seattle to Albany, NY by differing routes, meeting Dan Sculler from Scripp’s in San Diego at Newark International.  Meanwhile, the NPEO participants arrived home in Seattle a few hours after the Switchyards departure.  Roger at Newark had a phone conversation with Jamie Morison in Seattle, and received more NPEO data via the hotel internet that evening.
Switchyard 2013 Underway

Barneo ——— April 21, 2013 N 89° 07′ W 062° 18′ -23°C   ================

NPEO 2013 Report #11
Friday, April 21 Longyearbyen – Phone call from Jamie Morison

Troy & Co. took off from Barneo for Alert yesterday morning, 20 April.  The NPEO team returned to Longyearbyen on the An-74 that evening, after a final effort to add to John Guthrie’s Microstructure profiles at Barneo.
Today, the team is busy preparing for flights home, except for Matt Alkire who returns to his Fulbright position at UNIS.  They have been preparing backhaul shipments, arranging storage for equipment remaining in Longyearbyen, and sending data home for safekeeping.

Barneo ——— April 19, 2013 N 89° 07′ W 062° 18′ -23°C

NPEO 2013 Report #10

Friday, April 19 Barneo – Phone calls from Andy Heiberg & Jamie Morison

Jamie reports that the CTD survey was completed with one additional bonus station at 88.5N 90W. The Twin Otter plans to depart for Alert at 9am tomorrow (one day early) carrying NO FREEZE Water Samples, KEEP FROZEN Snow Samples, and a CTD to be left at Alert for the Switchyard project. The NPEO team plans to depart for Longyearbyen on the An-74 at 4pm tomorrow, two days early.

Andy reports that the work is currently ahead of schedule with a chance that they may be leaving Barneo tomorrow.The weather has been favorable the last couple of days.  At the time of the phone call Jamie Morison and Matt Alkire were in the process of retrieving the last CTD and Tim Wen was at the location of his equipment and was in the process of retrieving it as well.

Barneo ——— April 18, 2013 N 89° 09′ W 064° 37′ -22°C

NPEO 2013 Report #9 

Thursday April 18/09Z Borneo— email from Tom Quinn

Eight UW-CTD Chemistry stations along 90 E & 180 E have been successfully sampled. The team is currently enroute to 85 & 86/180 E. Once these two sites have been completed the final target will be at the Pole.   The NPS ITP-61 buoy was not reporting after installation several days ago, and the NPS team provided us with some power-cycling instructions to troubleshoot the instrument. Tim Wen flew north to Barneo yesterday to be in position for the recovery of his instruments. Upon arrival at Barneo he was able to fly on a MI-8 that was dropping off some skiers and briefly visit the site. The power-cycling solved the problem and the buoy is now reporting.

Barneo ——— April 17, 2013 N 89° 10′ W 066° 34′ -21°C

Barneo ——— April 16, 2013 N 89° 13′ W 066° 31′ -16°C

Barneo ——— April 15, 2013 N 89° 21′ W 063° 45′ -22°C

NPEO 2013 Report #8 
Monday April 15 Barneo — phone calls from Andy Heiberg, John Guthrie, and Jamie Morison

Yesterday (4/14) the weather cleared enough to allow the Twin Otter to fly down 90 East and make landings to record UW CTD-Chemistry stations at both 85N and 86N. An SVP Buoy was deployed t 85N 90E for the International Arctic Buoy Programme. A similar mission today recorded stations at 87N and 88N, 90E.

Barneo ——— April 14, 2013 N 89° 23′ W 062° 26′ -25°C

NPEO 2013 Report #7
Saturday April 14 Longyearbyen — email from Tom Quinn
The Twin Otter departed Barneo at 0830Z for first UW CTD-Chemistry survey at 85N 90E.
Barneo ——— April 13, 2013 N 89° 27' W 063° 43' -16°C
NPEO 2013 Report #6

Saturday April 13 Longyearbyen — email from Tom Quinn

Blowing snow and low visibility precluded a flight from LYR to Barneo today. The weather also prevented Twin Otter operations for Jamie’s chemistry work.

Barneo surface observations per discussion w. Andy at 1855 GMT (2055 local) look promising for flight operations to resume tomorrow.

Barneo ——— April 12, 2013 N 89° 31′ W 084° 42′ -27°C

NPEO 2013 Report #5 
Friday April 12 Longyearbyen — email from Tom Quinn

The Twin Otter arrived in Barneo at 2300 local last night, due to the significant distance of the ferry flight from Resolute and thetime difference to Barneo. Barneo is on LYR time which is +2 GMT. The University of Washington team performed a local shakedown CTD from the parked Twin Otter at Barneo to gather data while testing all procedures, instruments, and sampling protocols that have been developed with Kenn Borek Air support over many years. The WHOI ITP Buoy was deployed, and Rick Krishfield came back to LYR on the second An-74 flight.

Barneo ——— April 11, 2013 N 89° 33' W 087° 24' -28°C 
Barneo ——— April 10, 2013 N 89° 34' W 099° 18' -28°C 
NPEO 2013 Report #4 
Wednesday April 10 Barneo — phone call from Andy Heiberg 
NPEO 2013 Report #3 
Wednesday April 10 Longyearbyen - email from Tom Quinn 

The Kenn Borek Twin Otter is definitely coming from Resolute and is scheduled to arrive at Barneo on 11 April.  Tail number KBH will be equipped with wheel-skis, and have a crew of T. McKerral, W. Knox, and M. Romanow. 

Barneo ——— April 9, 2013 N 89° 36′ W 110° 19′ -28°C 

NPEO 2013 Report #2 
Tuesday 9 April Barneo — phone call from Jamie Morison 

Reporting on the previous four days. High pressure and beautiful weather since we arrived. Matt Alkire and the WHOI Buoy Team (Rick Krishfield, Kris Newhall, and Jeff Pietro) arrived from Longyearbyen. 

Barneo ——— April 8, 2013 N 89° 37' W 118° 16. -27°C 
Takashi Kikuchi, Toru Idai, Tim Wen, and Antonio Lourenco returned to Longyearbyen. 
Barneo ——— April 7, 2013 N 89° 34' W 144° 35. -27°C 

Day of the North Pole Extravaganza. Using the Mi-8 Helicopter and despite high winds and rapid ice drift, Jamie was able to acoustically download last year’s entire half-hourly record from ABPR-5 (Arcric Bottom Pressure Recorder). 

POPS and Ice-T Buoys were deployed at the Pole, but once in place, the POPS refused to function and had to be recovered. Three Jenny Hutchings Buoys were deployed around the Pole and four around Barneo. 

Barneo ——— April 6, 2013 N 89° 35' W 144° -21°C 
15 XCPs (Expendable Current Profiler) arrive in Barneo aboard the An--74. 
Barneo ——— April 5, 2013 N 89° 30' W 152° -22°C 

A POPS Buoy (JAMSTEC Polar Ocean Profiling System, Takashi Kikuchi and Toru Idai) and an Ice-T Buoy (Antonio Lourenco) were deployed successfully at Barneo. Assisted by Sergei Pisarev, the team dug a hydrohole for John Guthrie’s microsructure profiling experiment. 

Barneo ——— April 4, 2013 N 89° 27' W 161° 43' -25°C 

Jamie Morison, Andy Heiberg, Dean Stewart, John Guthrie, Takashi Kikuchi, Toru Idai, and Tim Wen arrived at Barneo from Longyear. 

Barneo ——— April 3, 2013 N 89° 27' W 168° 33' -23°C 
NPEO 2013 Report #1 Wednesday April 3 Longyearbyen — email from Jamie Morison 

We are packed and ready to go here in Longyearbyen. It is 1342 local time (1142 Z) and our first load of gear will be picked up by Pole Position truck at their fine new warehouse near UNIS and taken to the airport. 

We anticipate flying out at 2000 local. We have everything in hand except for the XCPs and sat phones. The sat phones are due in on the 1400 SAS flight. Kenn Borek Air has apparently gotten an additional Twin Otter back from Polar Shelf, so we will probably have our airplane for the airborne survey. 

Barneo ——— April 1, 2013 N 89° 40' W 178° 52' -20° C  Ice runway certified. First An-74 Landing 

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.


The North Pole is an excellent location for long-term measurements, and the merit of NPEO is demonstrated by the findings it has achieved so far. Near the flank of the Lomonosov Ridge, it has proven to be a sensitive site for changes in upper ocean frontal structure and changes in the Atlantic water flowing along the ridge. A history of expeditions to the North Pole provides a benchmark of ocean and sea ice observations. The drifting station deployment at the North Pole fills a geographic gap in drifting buoy coverage of the International Arctic Buoy Program’s (IABP). Time series observations of ice thickness there provide a unique measure of sea ice in the Transpolar Drift. The airborne hydrographic surveys reach critical areas that are difficult to reach by other means. So far the hydrographic surveys suggest that ocean conditions have relaxed from the extreme changes in the 1990s toward climatology but are still variable. The drift station data indicate that the inter annual variations in surface conditions are significant and, among other things, that ocean temperatures in western Arctic rose later than those in the eastern Arctic, and that ocean conditions in the western Eurasian Basin are still in a changed state. The mooring has shown ocean conditions at the Pole to be surprisingly energetic and variable with vertically extensive and long-lasting eddy structures; and they have shown a gradual cooling and freshening trend in the Atlantic water layer. The ice draft measurements document for the first time a coherent annual cycle of mean ice draft in the central Arctic that may be compared directly with estimates derived from submarine sonar profiles.

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