D to D done! We went out the slope and back. Station 31 skipped – CTD non functional!

We went all the way to the northern turning point, 32. Were expecting methane leakage at the shift of shallow and deep. 200 meters? MB out the slope. Steep 200-400-800-2.000-3.000 meters depth. We turn around. Full programme drifting. No ice. No waves. Drifting stations. 3.000 meters deep.


Julia in action. Photo: Anna-Carin Bäckebo

This is new sampling. We started with it at station one. We have forgot how it was. 3.000 vs. 50 meters is different. 50 meters is one minute down and one minute up once you hit the waterline and to get up the. 3.000 meters is an enormous long time. Long time standing on deck looking at the sheave slowly rotate. One sees it when looking at the yellow line we painted on all sheaves and winch drums. A yellow line to see that they are rolling when looking at the image from the video cameras mounted everywhere. Just write rstp:// in the computer browser and we all can follow. Cameras on the A-frames, on the spooling systems on the winches, cameras on computer screens to relay information on the methane levels to the bridge and others as an alert – could be a hot spot! 3.000 meters takes an eternity of time. The wire disappears in the water – gone! 3 km straight down. 3 km is a long way.

Niskin bottles

Water party. Photo: Jorien Vonk

Start running like you have never run and it will still take 15–20 minutes if you are fast. Straight down. One hour going down on maximum speed, see the tension go of the wire, wait 30 seconds and the up again – one hour. Sample one, CTD, sample 2 Multicorer is a number of hours. We did not se much. Some Atlantic warm water in a distinct layer otherwise nothing. CTD up the slope. A thriller. Steep up! 1.000-500 on a short drift station. We stopped to drift for a 1000 meter sample but ended up taking a 500 meter one. A race, drifting towards to upward slope with the CTD down at the bottom. Seabed raising fast. Pay in the winch fast, faster then the slope raises and the ship drifts. Who is the fastest slope/drift or winch. This time CTD won. But very small signs of methane leakage.

D to D done. D to F to come – today tomorrow and a few days more. We are going to Bennet Island. This is something. This is a mystery. We are not going to the actual island. We might see it. Only a few have. Bennet Island is one of the eight De Long Islands. Four big, four small islands north of New Siberian Islands but different. New Siberian Islands are old, De Long new. Volcanic. A mystery! Not the volcanic geology, the history.

In the 70’s US saw a smoke cloud on satellite images. Huge cloud! It was seen more than once. The US-Soviet red telephone went hot. Who is testing nuclear explosions? Bombs? Cold war, hot telephone. War cooled down, a natural phenomenon. A mystery, and still is. Few have been there. No data. Will we be able to collect some? Theory is that there is a random in time release of gas from reservoirs in the seabed. Can be seen in IR-satellite images. Mostly in winter. Then the temperature difference is big. Summer less. We will see. Can we see something on the sea floor? We have the Multibeam. Almost no data from before. Will we get some? Will we see something? We are going there.