Expedition “North Pole – 41” completed the first month of drifting

The first month of the drift of the Russian expedition “North Pole-41” has ended. During this time, the ice floe, on which a real scientific camp is deployed, traveled about 400 km. The scientists completed all the planned work to prepare the laboratories and began observations. The collected data will help to comprehensively study the nature of the Arctic, identify patterns of climate change, as well as ensure the implementation of large projects in high latitudes and the safe operation of the Northern Sea Route.

Geophysical, meteorological and glaciological laboratories, an oceanographic terminal, a magnetic pavilion, a workshop, an ice morphometric testing ground and other light structures appeared on the ice about 500 m from the ice-resistant platform “North Pole”. Research is carried out in the scientific camp and on board the newest vessel.

– The expedition program includes more than 50 types of research and observations aimed at a comprehensive study of the natural environment of the Arctic, the patterns and causes of changes in the climate system, and the biodiversity of the Arctic region. The data obtained will make it possible to describe possible climate transformations in the coming decades. The data will also be used to ensure safe navigation along the Northern Sea Route, the implementation of major infrastructure projects and obtaining new information to substantiate the Russian Federation’s application to expand the boundaries of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. The new format of work organization – with the support of an ice-resistant platform, which has become a cozy and safe home for polar explorers – has been demonstrating its effectiveness literally from the first stages of the expedition. It took no more than a month to equip the scientific camp, — noted the director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Alexander Makarov.

In the near future, a garage for servicing equipment will be built in the scientific camp, and the deployment of a unique measuring system will continue, with the help of which large-scale fluctuations in the ice cover and its response to atmospheric disturbances will be studied. In January, the construction of the runway will begin.

During the first month of the drift, scientists launched a deep-sea oceanographic complex and began regular sounding of the water column of the Arctic Ocean. Soil and water samples are analyzed to assess changes in species composition, quantitative parameters of phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos.

Geologists take samples of bottom soil using deep-sea devices. The obtained samples are analyzed in shipboard laboratories. The purpose of these works is to determine the mineral and geochemical composition, to estimate the volume of pore water and gaseous inclusions. A lot of work and glaciologists. They study the morphometric, mechanical and strength properties of ice. A survey of the lower surface of the ice field has already been carried out using a sonar. Within the 16-kilometer experimental range, a network of hydrometeorological observations of 15 autonomous buoys has been deployed. The data obtained from these devices will make it possible to study the variability of heat and mass transfer processes in the “atmosphere – snow cover – sea ice – ocean surface layer” system and the process of internal wave formation.

Now the expedition “North Pole – 41” is located at the point with coordinates 83.8767N, 147.041E. The proposed general drift direction is through the polar region to the Greenland Sea. After leaving the Fram Strait, the ice-resistant platform “North Pole” with the members of the expedition on board will come to Murmansk under its own power.

The ship, which has no analogues in the world, was built at the Admiralty shipyards. The main performance characteristics of the ice-resistant platform “North Pole”: length – 83.1 m; width – 22.5 m; displacement – about 10,390 tons; electrical installation capacity – 4.2 thousand kW; speed – at least 10 knots; hull strength – Arc8; autonomy in terms of fuel reserves – about two years; service life – at least 25 years. The start of the expedition “North Pole – 41” was given on September 15, 2022 in Murmansk. October 2 at the point with coordinates 82°37’N. sh. and 155°31’E. d. was the flag of the expedition is raised.

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