#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Due to the active ice melting, the ice-resistant self-propelled platform (LSP) North Pole unmoored from the collapsing ice floe and relocated to another, more reliable and durable one. Scientists who have begun the final stage of the study are setting up a new camp on it.
The expedition plans more than 50 types of observations and a comprehensive study of the natural environment of the Arctic, the patterns and causes of climate change, and the Arctic region’s biodiversity. Polar explorers live on board and work both on a ship equipped with well-equipped laboratories and on an ice floe. By the way, it had to be changed due to melting. A new place of residence was searched by helicopter.
“Unfortunately, the initially selected ice floe is no longer suitable for work. A new ice floe was found two miles west of the previous one”, Alexander Makarov, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute director, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The new ice floe, where the scientific camp site is equipped, is a collection of fragments of multi-year ice up to 2.7 meters thick and one-year ice, the thickness of which reaches 1.5 meters. Its approximate dimensions are 1800 by 1200 meters. According to the scientists’ observations, during the month the station has been actively blown to the east: now it is located above the Franz Josef Land archipelago at 83.5 degrees north latitude. During the free drift, the SP-41 covered almost three thousand kilometers.
“The vessel will drift, presumably, for another three to four months, after which it will enter ice-free waters and head for Murmansk. That is, the expedition will end this year. Then the ship will undergo maintenance, and we will prepare for the North Pole – 42. The expedition will start in about a year”, said Alexander Makarov.
Recall that the ice-resistant self-propelled platform North Pole has the functionality of a research center and is designed for year-round expeditions in the Arctic ocean. Previously, drifting ice was used for polar expeditions: scientists organized scientific stations on them. LSP North Pole is capable of drifting and moving in ice independently at a speed of up to ten knots. The stock of fuel placed on board will allow the platform to autonomously be on the expedition for up to two years.
Earlier, the first in 40 years year-long Arctic expedition started from Murmansk.
Text: Elena Popova, Photo: Olga Alexandrova