TRACES of Change in the Arctic

Healy on ice

Anatomy of an ‘Ice Station’

Completing an “Ice Station” means collecting samples over a wide range of Arctic water and ice conditions. Each station means a major orchestration of people and resources.

by |October 11, 2015
Ship crew is deployed to position the boxes of small 'seaworthy vessels' and the tracking buoy onto the ice. (Photo Bill Schmoker)

Arctic Magic: One Research Vessel Multiplies to Hundreds

The Arctic is magical, that we know, but when one ship multiplies to hundreds of small boats we really see the effect that Arctic magic can bring.

by |September 21, 2015
Gathered at the North Pole are the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy and the GEOTRACES science team.  On Sept. 5th at 7:47 AM the ship reached the North Pole, becoming the 1st U.S. surface vessel to do so unaccompanied. (photo U.S. COAST GUARD)

A Week of Firsts for This Arctic Nation

We are closing in on a week of intense focus and excitement for GEOTRACES and for the United States around the Arctic. President Obama became the first sitting president to visit Alaska, the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy with US GEOTRACES scientists completed the first unaccompanied US surface vessel transit to the North Pole, and the first group ever to collect trace metals at the North Pole! You might assume these three items are unrelated, but they are in fact tightly linked.

by |September 11, 2015
core repository

It’s as Clear as Mud

For the sampling GEOTRACES is doing in the Arctic there is a specific goal of collecting just the top few dozen centimeters of sediment and the water just above it. Although the plan was good, things don’t always go perfectly.

by |September 6, 2015
Ice Floe Blue

Scouring Arctic for Traces of Fukushima and Cosmic Rays

Sounds like the basis for a great scifi thriller…”scientists scour Arctic, hunting for traces of nuclear fallout and ejections from cosmic ray impacts”. In reality this thriller theme is the actual core of the GEOTRACES mission.

by |August 29, 2015
Polar Bear takes a drink (Photo credit Tim Kenna)

Moving into the Realm of the Polar Bear

When we venture into the Arctic for research for most of us there is the lingering hope that a polar bear will appear on our watch; at least as long as we are safely outside of its reach.

by |August 24, 2015
Walrus

Tracing the Arctic

The land surrounding the Arctic Ocean is like a set of cradling arms, holding the ocean and the sea ice in a circular grasp. Within that cradle is a unique mix of waters, including freshwater from melting glacial ice and large rivers, and a salty mix of relatively warm Atlantic water and the cooler Pacific water.

by |August 19, 2015