Antarctic News

Weddell Sea polynya, initally 3,700 square miles, 2017. False color NASA satellite image shows ice in blue, clouds in white. (Photo: Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Robotic Data Help Explain Mysterious Holes

The winter ice on the surface of Antarctica's Weddell Sea occasionally develops an enormous hole. In 2016 and 2017, one such hole drew intense curiosity from scientists and the media.Though bigger gaps had formed decades before, this was the first time oceanographers had a chance to truly monitor the unexpected gap in Antarctic winter sea ice. It was an opportunity that came about as a result of uncanny timing and a seasoned oceanographer’s knowledge of the sea.A new study co-authored by researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego combines

Photo: Seamor Marine

SEAMOR: ROV to Last Ice Project in Canada

, is the most compact vehicle in the line. These ROVs are designed and manufactured in Canada by SEAMOR Marine Ltd. at their home offices in Nanaimo, British Columbia.SEAMOR ROVs have been used for marine research and inspections across the world. Our ROVs have also conducted geological research in the antarctic, ancient sea basins, and in the open ocean. We have also collaborated with other researchers too, including NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and DARPA. The ROVs' applications are widespread too, as they have been used for a variety of fields from aquaculture, to dam inspection; underwater archaeolog

National Geographic Endurance under construction in Norway (Photo: Lindblad Expeditions)

Wesmar Equips National Geographic Endurance

polar expedition ship, is currently under construction at Ulstein in Norway.The new expedition cruise ship features a range of state-of-the-art technologies that will help it to navigate safely through some of the world's most remote locations, including several planned cruises through Arctic and Antarctic waters.Wesmar’s EV860 sonar was chosen for the vessel for a variety of reasons, including its dual, forward-looking sonar and bottom profiler, the manufacturer said.“Wesmar has a very good product,” said Captain Leif Skog, Vice President Nautical, at Lindblad Expeditions. &ldquo

A Hugin AUV being launched (Courtesy Kongsberg)

Unmanned Vehicles: 25 Years of Milestones

known as the Odyssey Class. These were roughly 21 inches in diameter and about 2 meters long. They were designed to dive as deep as 6,000 meters but be relatively affordable and easy to deploy. These vehicles supported many science missions including under-ice work in the Arctic and oceanography in the Antarctic. A key program supported by these vehicles, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), was known as the Autonomous Ocean Sampling Network. This pioneered designs for docking AUVs. Experiments in seafloor mapping and mine hunting were also conducted during the first ten years of the AUV Lab

Figure 1: Sea ice extent for January 1, 2019 (Photo: NSIDC)

A Record-Low Start to Ice the New Year in Antarctica

As of January 1, 2019, Antarctic sea ice extent had experienced several days of record lows. These record-low extents, which followed a period of rapid ice loss in December, exemplify the high seasonal and year-to-year variability in Antarctic sea ice. With six to eight weeks remaining in the melt season, it remains to be seen whether the present situation will persist and lead to a record-low annual minimum. A discussion of Arctic conditions will be posted next week.Overview of conditionsOn January 1, Antarctic sea ice extent stood at 5.47 million square kilometers (2.11 million square miles)

The frame and instruments as they were when they washed up. Photo: NOC

Lost @ Sea: Missing Equipment Washes Up Five Years Later

Center (NOC) has just been found on a beach in Tasmania by a local resident after making a 14,000 km journey across the ocean.In 2011, this deep-ocean lander instrument was deployed by NOC scientists in the northern Drake Passage, which is a narrow section of the ocean between South America and Antarctica. Measuring ocean bottom pressure here helps provide information on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which is the largest ocean current in the world. The instrument was due to spend two years collecting data at a depth of 1100 metres, before being recovered on Christmas Day in 2013 by a research

© peteri/Adobe Stock

Scientist Pool Data to Create the $3B Ocean Map

depth and topography of the ocean floor. That creates data points, which can be converted into a map."With advanced sonar technology it really is like seeing. I think we've come out of the era of being the blind man with the stick," said Robert Larter, a marine geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey."We can survey much more efficiently - and, not only that, but in much greater detail," he said, adding that the work was painstaking."The ocean's a big place!" he said.The advent of new technology such as underwater drones and robots is also speeding up the mapping

Participants at The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project regional mapping meeting for the Atlantic and Indian Oceans gathered in Palisades, New York. (Photo: The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed)

First Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project Meeting

considered various strategies for engaging regional stakeholders and how best to optimize data gathering in the region.The meeting in Palisades was the second regional mapping meeting of the Seabed 2030 Project, following a joint meeting held in Stockholm last month for the Arctic/North Pacific and Antarctic regions. The final regional center, led by Dr Geoffroy Lamarche covering the South and West Pacific Ocean, will hold its regional mapping meeting at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand, on  March 4-6, 2019

Participants at the first Arctic, Antarctic & North Pacific mapping meeting for The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, held at Stockholm University, October 8-10 (Image: The Nippon Foundation / GEBCO)

Seabed 2030 Meeting Held in Stockholm

The first regional mapping meeting for The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project has been held in Stockholm, covering the Arctic, Antarctic and North Pacific regions. The meeting, held last month, brought together ocean mapping experts, oceanographers, scientists and private companies to discuss various technical elements of the Project including data acquisition, visualization, expedition coordination and the role of future technologies. The three-day meeting was chaired by the Regional Data and Coordination Center (RDACC) heads: Dr. Martin Jakobsson and Dr. Larry Mayer, who lead the RDACC

Image provided by Knud E. Hansen

Knud E. Hansen, DTU Aqua Pact on Marine Research Vessel

marine research vessel to replace the aging R/V DANA IV from 1981."Knud E. Hansen signed the contract on the basis of our references in designing fishing vessels and in-depth know how in marine research vessels and icebreakers for scientific operations, like the RSV NUYINA for the Australian Antarctic Division," said a press release from the Danish company.The concept study will clarify design drivers and evaluate on the preliminary construction, requirements and budget for a new R/V DANA V. The objective for the concept study is to evaluate on the feasibility of the project and provide

Slocum G3 Glider (Image: Teledyne Webb Research)

Teledyne Webb Research Wins $7 Mln NOAA Contract

delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the provision of Slocum gliders, sensors and service components. The award has a maximum value of $7 million over five years, with an initial procurement in excess of $600,000.The U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) Program of the NOAA Fisheries Service has conducted ship-based acoustic and oceanographic research surveys around the Antarctic Peninsula since 1986. Data collected from this Program are used to provide advice to the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine

Marine Technology Magazine Cover Jun 2019 - Hydrographic Survey: Single & Multibeam Sonar

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