Copenhagen, 9 May, 2006
By Trine Dahl-Jensen
Edited by Henrik Højmark Thomsen, GEUS
Heading south – mission completed
3 May, 2006
Weather in Alert: -17, sunny, calm.
Another weather day in Alert. The weather was fine here, but we could not fly with the helicopters due to fog and low cloud over our working area. The Twin Otter made an afternoon trip to the ice to bring back the remaining surplus fuel from the cache at the old ice camp. We left three drums of fuel for René Forsberg from Danish Space Center. He will arrive to Alert mid May to measure the thickness of the sea ice. The work is a continuation of the project GreenICE, which in 2004 were investigating the climate and ice dynamics of the Arctic Ocean. René will clear the site, when he has finished the work.
4 May, 2006
Weather in Alert: -16, snow, light wind.
Once again we got snow. The whole area is hidden in snow, fog and low cloud, so we have had no flying to day. We continued packing the equipment in preparation for the transport flight from Alert to Edmonton Saturday May 6.
5 May, 2006
Weather in Alert: -16, snow, light wind.
Continued snow, fog and low cloud. We have prepared the flight out from Alert tomorrow. The Twin Otter should have been on a trip to Resolute Bay, but had to return at the weather station Eureka further south due to the weather. The BG-team has waited for flying weather the last six days to finish the measurements of water depths and gravity. To day we decided to give up this part of the programme and shut down the whole operation, so that we can be ready to fly out from Alert with the transport flight tomorrow. The Twin Otter therefore on its return from Eureka went to the cache on the cross line, where we still had some fuel for the planned operations by the BG-team. Despite the bad weather the Twin Otter succeeded to empty the fuel cache.
6 May, 2006
Weather in Alert: -16, sunny, calm.
Fantastic nice and clear weather. Sun, calm and no fog and low cloud over the ice. The transport flight should arrive to Alert at 17:00, so we were ready to go home. The weather has been terrible this year, and it is typical, that we here on our last day in Alert have the best flying condition over our entire working area for weeks.
We were ready to go home, but from the morning we made a final attempt to recover the five instruments on the outer line, which have been standing there since the operation on 21 April, where we could not find them.
We took off with one helicopter heading at position OS7, close to the hidden receivers, where we had left a satellite beacon. Finally we had clear weather over the northern area and a few hours later we succeeded to find and recover the five lost instruments with another set of data from the northernmost part of the outer line. On the way back to Alert we refuelled at the cache at the old ice camp, and before take off to Alert we left a radio beacon there together with now two drums of fuel for René Forsberg.
Short after arrival to Alert the whole LORITA group boarded the transport flight and took off to Edmonton at 18:10. An exciting and very fruitful field season had come to an end – mission completed.
9 May, 2006
Weather in Copenhagen: +21, sunny, calm.
All persons are back home, and Trine-Dahl-Jensen has showed up in the office at GEUS with a smile on her lips.
“I am happy and very satisfied with our results. The expedition has been a success even if we did not succeed to get all the data, we had planed,” says Trine Dahl-Jensen, who has been the leader of the LORITA-1 expedition together with Ruth Jackson from Geological Survey of Canada.
The weather has been bad this year making the operations difficult for the Canadian and Danish researchers. Their working area on the ice has for long periods been hidden in fog and low clouds, making it impossible for them to fly. Of 31 possible flying days with the helicopters, they were only able to fly five full days and five partial days. It looks a little better for the Twin Otter, which is not so weather dependent. It was able to operate full time or partly on 24 of a possible 41 days.
“Yesterday I had a cup of coffee with Ruth, before we said good bye in Edmonton, and we are both very happy that the large complicated operation went so well – despite the bad weather. We have had a fine co-operation with the Canadians, and we shall now start analysing the data. We already know, that the quality of the data is good and our temporary evaluation in Alert shows that the data acquired contains sufficient information to make a seismic model of the subsurface from the inner shelf near the Greenland coast and out onto the Lomonosov Ridge,” says Trine Dahl-Jensen.