Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Antarctic Expedition 2009
March 6 - April 15, 2009
Northwestern Weddell Sea


Moving from one iceberg to the next
March 26, 2009

Sea temperature: -0.6°C
Air temperature: -2°C

Yesterday evening, the principal investigators analyzed measurements around iceberg B-15L to determine if it could be the next study site. Late last night they decided to move on to another iceberg when measurements of high chlorophyll and low salinity suggested that the effect of nearby pack ice would make it too difficult to tease out the iceberg’s signal.

The ship began sailing northwest toward the location of TK-231, a potential iceberg that has been identified and tracked by David Long’s group via satellite. As we’ve been transiting throughout the day, we have hoped to encounter a smaller iceberg, at least two kilometers long, that we could study in this region. These icebergs are too small to be detected reliably by satellites. The officers on the bridge and an able-bodied seaman lookout are monitoring the ship’s radar and keeping a special watch for possible icebergs. The lookout also watches for growlers, low-lying (less than one meter above the water line), grand piano-sized ice chunks that can damage a ship’s hull and must be avoided. Cold, wet, and foggy weather has made this duty more challenging as visibility has been quite limited.

A coating of snow collects on an workboat located below the
starboard lifeboat.
A coating of snow collects on an workboat located below the starboard lifeboat. Photo by Gordy Stephenson

Unless we encounter a smaller iceberg along the way, the ship will continue its transit nearly due west, and will arrive at TK-231 sometime tomorrow afternoon. Today also marks the halfway point of the expedition. Now we have only 20 days left until we return to port in Punta Arenas.

— Debbie Nail Meyer

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IceburgExpedition Homepage
Find out why our scientists and equipment are in the Antarctic.

ResearchersLife on the Ship
Find out what it's like to be on a research ship out in the antarctic.

ROV PhantomExpedition Equipment
A detailed look and description of the equipment used on this cruise.

Ken SmithResearch Team
Meet and see photos of the scientists on this cruise.

Google EarthFollow the ship's voyage
A link to the expedition's voyage on Google Earth.

phytoplanktonExploratorium's Ice Stories
Antarctica's Iceberg Phytoplankton

Additional Links