Back From The Sea Of Icebergs

by Sabrina Heerema | Published: 24-Aug-21 | Last updated: 07-Sep-21 | Tags : | category:

German newspaper Bergedorfer Zeitung published a photo and teaser on the first page of their August 24th 2021 publication, together with a longer article further in the newspaper. Here we have provided a rough translation of the article, and here is a link to the original

Three young researchers Claudia Schmidt, Daniel Bastian and Dr Katarzyna Koziorowska-Makuch representing Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon in Geesthacht are back from an expedition to Greenland which started at the beginning of July. They are now awaiting the arrival of their samples at the institute in the next few days. Samples include two hundred water and ten sediment samples from depths of up to eight hundred meters. 

The scientific crew from various disciplines were part of the EU-financed ECOTIP project focusing on the state of the sea around Greenland. Thirty research points were utilised on the west coast of Greenland. At every point, water was collected from different depths to take water samples.

Everything went well, but at station 18 there was a glitch. The sensor monitoring data on the water no longer worked, and there was no spare part. A Danish engineer improvised, and after some hours the precious data stream flowed again. The scientists were awake all night because of the tension and excitement. 

Several exciting things happened. On day one after arrival, the three researchers landed in Iceland, but their luggage containing all of their clothing did not. The luggage was expected the next day, although there was a six-hour delay. 

The crossing from Iceland to the southern tip of Greenland was rough.“ A storm was piling up the waves three or four meters high, ”reports Claudia Schmidt. “I was bad - like half of the crew. Most of them retired to the back, wanting quiet time. "The captain shortened the passage to the west by one narrow sound, which fortunately was ice-free. Shielded from the wind the water was as smooth as a mirror, and there were hundreds of waterfalls. "That was the most beautiful part of the trip, "said Claudia Schmidt. Daniel Bastian remembered the Canadian pack ice in particular. From a distance, it shone over the sea like a huge wall of white clouds. "Pretty impressive," he thought.

When the samples are delivered, they will last for about half a year and be analyzed. This is followed by the completion of a publication for scientific journals on the knowledge gained, which takes up to a year. The next research trip will be in August 2022 under the guidance of institute director Dr Helmuth Thomas in East Greenland, this time onboard the research ship "Maria S. Merian".

Credit: Translation of text written by Author Dirk Palapies/Bergedorf, BGZ