Science during the 2008 Disko Bay Expedition
The research undertaken during the 2008 expedition built on the important scientific and artistic research started during the 2007 expedition. During the Disko Bay expedition, scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Scottish Association of Marine Science and the British Geological Survey carried out research on the West coast of Greenland to explore the continuing northern ice melt and the geology of the Arctic region. Dr Simon Boxall and Emily Venables made temperature and salinity measurements in the West Greenland sea. Dr Carol Cotterill and Dave Smith from the British Geological Survey carried out extensive sequence stratigraphy analysis, see below for more details on this research.
During the 2008 Disko Bay Expedition a team from the British Geological Survey joined the expedition to run extensive surveying of the seabed in the Arctic and learn more about the geology of the area. The science team from BGS ran five tracts in different locations, measuring between 2 and 12 miles. They used sound waves to image the submarine landscape and the team successfully uncovered beautifully imaged deep channels that had become infilled with up to 250m of sediments. They gained data from a variety of settings, and showed that the penetration of the sound waves is possible in an area initially thought to be problematic due to the volcanic rocks and also the type of glacial deposits that can be very coarse and difficult to image through.
With further work in this area it will be possible to start to piece together a sea-level, glacial retreat / advance story and start to assess the historical impact of climate change cycles.
The NOC and SAMS made temperature and salinity measurements in the West Greenland Sea including:
- Deploying the second Cape Farewell ARGO float in the West Greenland Current, which is already sending back vital data on the temperature and salinity conditions in the High Arctic. The Argo float is one of over 3,000 deployed in the oceans today and is the closest any crew has come to deploying one in the North West Passage. It is already transmitting its information to the international data centre which receives all the information from ARGO float deployment and it will be the first such measurements in this fabled region of the ocean, which was only recently an ice covered wilderness. The float will continue to provide data for the next three years.