September 14, 2022

MBARI researchers join international research expedition to the Arctic Ocean

Marine operations crew launch a torpedo-shaped autonomous underwater vehicle off the side of a Korean icebreaker ship in the Arctic Ocean.

MBARI is part of an international team of researchers studying the thawing submarine permafrost in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Image: Roberto Gwiazda © 2017 MBARI

This month, a team of MBARI researchers joined an international research expedition aboard the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) icebreaker Araon to study a remote part of the Arctic Ocean. 

Learning about the fragile Arctic environment before it becomes further altered by an expanding human presence is especially important and urgent. For nearly 20 years, MBARI has collaborated with researchers at the Geological Survey of Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceanography Canada, and, more recently, KOPRI to study the frigid waters of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. This year’s expedition with our Canadian and Korean collaborators—with the addition of the United States Naval Research Laboratory—will help refine our understanding of an environment in the midst of rapid change.

MBARI provided state-of-the-art underwater robots to study the seafloor along the southern edge of the Arctic Ocean. These robots are helping MBARI researchers and our collaborators investigate how thawing submarine permafrost is changing the seafloor in this remote area.

As part of MBARI’s ongoing efforts to make ocean exploration accessible to all, our research team has shared their work in an expedition log.

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Department of Fisheries and Oceanography Canada

Geological Survey of Canada

Korea Polar Research Institute

United States Naval Research Laboratory