Science Programme

Science during the 2008 Disko Bay Expedition

The research undertaken during the 2008 expedition builds on the important scientific and artistic research begun in 2007. In 2008, scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Scottish Association of Marine Science and the British Geological Survey joined the Disko Bay Expedition. Alongside lectures, presentations and discussions with onboard crew members, both teams were also able to complete scientific research in the Arctic.

Dr Simon Boxall and Emily Venables were able to deploy an ARGO float. The new float, Disko-very Bob, was deployed at the beginning of October and is currently sending data back to us on the temperature and salinity conditions in the High Arctic. It is the only active ARGO float in that region and due to make its way to the North West Passage. It will send back data for 3 years and joins the ARGO float the Cape Farewell team deployed during the 2007 expedition.

Dr Carol Cotterill and Dave Smith from the British Geological Survey were able to carry out extensive sequence stratigraphy analysis below the seabed to gain further insight into past climates, changes in sea level and the speed in which these changes can occur. They used sound waves to image the submarine landscape and the team successfully uncovered beautifully imaged deep channels that had become infilled with up to 250m of sediments. They were able to gain data from a variety of settings, and show that the penetration of the sound waves is possible in an area initially thought to be problematic due to the volcanic rocks and also the type of glacial deposits that can be very coarse and difficult to image through. With further work in this area it will be possible to start to piece together a sea-level, glacial retreat / advance story and start to assess the historical impact of climate change cycles.

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