Mooring Operations in Polar Waters
Hanne Sagen, Senior Researcher, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), Norway
Agnieszka Beszczynska-Möller, Senior Researcher, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IOPAN), Poland
Course summary: Fixed ocean moorings are the main platforms to provide long-term observations of marine environment, covering different time scales from shorter than hourly to monthly, seasonal and multi-annual measurements. Moored instruments can measure different ocean variables, including physical, biogeochemical and biological parameters (and also collect samples and visual images) in the entire water column, also under the sea ice. However, mooring operations in the demanding, ice-covered polar areas are linked to unique challenges, related both to the platform design (instrumentation and mooring hardware) and to the manner of deployment and recovery from an icebreaker in conditions of partial or even sea ice cover. During this short course, we introduced the main issues about how to plan, design, equip and operate a mooring for measurements in the polar region and discuss planning the campaign and specific ship operations for deployment and recovery of moorings in ice-covered waters. The details of such work were explored using a case study with the deep ocean acoustic multidisciplinary moorings deployed under the CAATEX project for 2019-2020 in the Arctic Ocean from the Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker KV Svalbard.