Blog from the RV Polarstern: MOSAiC trace gas fluxes update 4.2

Blog from the RV Polarstern: MOSAiC trace gas fluxes update 4.2

By Byron Blomquist


June 24, 2020 

Over the past week we've continued to work on the on-ice infrastructure and science activities in parallel. Met City is almost reestablished. The hut is on-site with power, the 10-m tower is assembled and instrumented, and testing for the met instruments began today. We have not installed the CO2/CH4 flux system in the hut yet, but hope to do that in the next few days.


Here is a photo of the ship showing the improvised bow sampling tower we put up last week. This one is about 1m shorter than the original, but seems adequate given the projection of the bow crane. The upper support arm with the sonic and gas inlets drooped a bit after we raised the tower. Steve and I straightened that up today. The sonics, Licor, Picarro and fast ozone instruments are all running. We collected GML and UEA flask samples this week.

Most of our ship-board systems are operating and wind direction has been favorable. The ship's heading is optimal for measurements at the bow given that winds in the SW to NW sector predominate at this time of year at this location. Over the past week we had a couple days of brilliant, clear weather, but today it was foggy with drizzle and temps were ~2°C. Aqua-blue melt ponds are appearing everywhere in the ice around the ship and waterproof boots are necessary for travel on ice.

Steve and I took the CO2/CH4 flux chamber out with the ECO coring team on Monday to sample at their first-year ice site, and we will revisit the same site tomorrow for another round of measurements. We've automated the chamber system now with a solenoid valve to select 'inlet' or 'chamber' measurement modes on a 3-minute interval and have added temperature sensors.


We hope to complete most of the set-up and transition to a normal measurement schedule by next week.