July 17, 2016
First stage 2016 Interdisciplinary Arctic Expedition Research Results
Over the course of the interdisciplinary expedition on board the RV Kartesh (June 19 to July 17) the vessel covered a distance of 3075 nautical miles, embracing a vast territory of the Western Arctic from the Kola peninsula to the Kara Strait. Research work was conducted in the coastal area of the Barents and the White Seas by the LMSU Marine Research Center in collaboration with the Polar Expedition Kartesh Project. Special focus was on the offshore and the coastal areas between Dolgy Island and the western coast of Vaygach island, as well as islands and fjords of the southernmost part of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.
The following scope of work has been conducted:
1. We completed a grid of 20 stations for the Atlantic walrus nutritive base research and nine for the Novaya Zemlya fjord fauna research;
2. We filmed 32 videos to specify submarine forms of macrobenthos and to describe sea bed landscapes by a SuperGNOM PRO remotedly operated vehicle and a submersible video camera; we recorded over 5 hours of underwater video from depth of five to seventy meters deep;
3. We took 25 samples for microbiological research of oil-oxidizing organisms;
4. We described 30 locations in terms of geomorphology and coastline vulnerability towards oil spills. We pictured and filmed every location from ground and air (with a drone) to comprise a coastline landscape atlas;
5. We took 107 samples of littoral macrophytes for morphologic and genetic research;
6. We made 10 samples of the Pechora Sea water body;
7. We founded a temporary research station on Cape Sakhanin, Novaya Zemlya, Yuzhny Island. Ornithologists headquartered at the station and managed to complete their research on bird colonies. To arrange the station, we renovated Belaya cabin and cleared out the premises.
Apart from that, we took over 12 Gb of pictures, such as pictures of samples, littoral and research methodology images.
The first stage of the expedition is over. A major work is ahead, as we have to process the samples and prepare a report. After fuel bunkering and change of the researchers in Naryan-Mar, the vessel will go through the Kara Strait to the coast of the Yamal Peninsula to continue the expeditionary work.
Polar Expedition Kartesh Project Head Deputy for marine biology and ecology
LMSU Marine Research Center CEO