Contourites are sedimentary deposits on the continental rise. Studying contourite drifts is useful for the reconstruction of the oceanographic and climate history of continental margins since they contain expanded sedimentary sequences characterized by relatively high and continuous accumulation rates.

The Fram Strait in the Arctic is the only deep-sea open gate through which North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean water masses meet ensuring ocean heat flow exchange. Evaluation and reconstruction of the oceanographic flow regime in this area is important to understand water masses and heat exchange through the Fram Strait Arctic gate and would improve our understanding on sediment drifts accumulation. Yet, the expanded sedimentary sequences will allow high-resolution, detailed age model reconstructions for stratigraphic cross correlation still lacking in this area. PREPARED aim is to investigate and define the present and past oceanographic patterns around the two contourite drifts identified on the eastern side of the Fram Strait. For this we will encompass a full range of time scales, from instantaneous (CTD) and seasonal (moorings) oceanographic measurements, to the recent (box corer) and geological past (calypso core).

The research project was conducted in collaboration with several research institutes and universities in Italy, Poland, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Principal investigators

Sam Fredriksson
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg

Ardo Robijn
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg