Rabe, B, Heuzé, C, Regnery, J, Aksenov, Y, Allerholt, J, Athanase, M, Bai, Y, Basque, C, Bauch, D, Baumann, TM, Chen, D, Cole, ST, Craw, L, Davies, A, Damm, E, Dethloff, K, Divine, DV, Doglioni, F, Ebert, F, Fang, Y-C, Fer, I, Fong, AA, Gradinger, R, Granskog, MA, Graupner, R, Haas, C, He, H, He, Y, Hoppmann, M, Janout, M, Kadko, D, Kanzow, T, Karam, S, Kawaguchi, Y, Koenig, Z, Kong, B, Krishfield, RA, Krumpen, T, Kuhlmey, D, Kuznetsov, I, Lan, M, Laukert, G, Lei, R, Li, T, Torres-Valdés, S, Lin, L, Lin, L, Liu, H, Liu, N, Loose, B, Ma, X, MacKay, R, Mallet, M, Mallett, RDC, Maslowski, W, Mertens, C, Mohrholz, V, Muilwijk, M, Nicolaus, M, O’Brien, JK, Perovich, D, Ren, J, Rex, M, Ribeiro, N, Rinke, A, Schaffer, J, Schuffenhauer, I, Schulz, K, Shupe, MD, Shaw, W, Sokolov, V, Sommerfeld, A, Spreen, G, Stanton, T, Stephens, M, Su, J, Sukhikh, N, Sundfjord, A, Thomisch, K, Tippenhauer, S, Toole, JM, Vredenborg, M, Walter, M, Wang, H, Wang, L, Wang, Y, Wendisch, M, Zhao, J, Zhou, M, Zhu, J. 2022. Overview of the MOSAiC expedition: Physical oceanography. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 10(1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.2021.00062
In October 2019, the RV Polarstern was purposely frozen in the high Arctic pack ice to be used as a research platform by hundreds of international scientists while the ship drifted along with the ice until September 2020. Or at least, that was the plan of MOSAiC. Covid19 and an extremely rapid transpolar drift made the expedition more… “interesting”. In this overview, we detail the physical oceanography program (of which I was one of the two co-leads for the entire expedition):
- The measurement systems from the ship, deployed on the ice, and in the distributed network of autonomous sensors up to 50 km around the ship;
- What we did where and when, including the covid19-related changes of schedules;
- The “event” measurements: 36h microstucture profiling, sampling in leads, etc.
And we present our first results:
- The full-depth seasonal and regional variability of the Arctic water masses, including a very visible Atlantification;
- A way less “quiescent” Arctic than expected, with increased mixing in the upper 500 m consistent with the reduction in sea ice concentration and thickness;
- Observations of the life cycle of freshwater lenses just under the ice, until their destruction by storms.
This publication is mostly meant as the data paper for all other MOSAiC physical oceanography publications to come, so stay tuned for more actual results.