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An Integrated Arctic Coastal Observatory

Conference Paper (PDF Available)  · March 2015
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.5180.7204
Conference: Conference: Gordon Research Conference - Polar Marine Science
Finlo R. Cottier at University of the Highlands and Islands
  • 30.64
  • University of the Highlands and Islands
Jørgen Berge at UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • 38.29
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway
The Scottish Association for Marine Science and partner Norwegian Institutes (UNIS, UiT, NPI) have maintained two moored observatories in the fjords of Svalbard. Since 2002 until present, a multi-parameter mooring has been situated in Kongsfjorden (NW Spitsbergen) and since 2006, an identical multi-parameter mooring in Rijpfjorden (Nordaustlandet). These represent contrasting locations for making coupled observations of the physical, biological and geochemical environment. Kongsfjorden is typically an Atlantic Water dominated system with minimal seasonal sea ice. In contrast, Rijpfjorden is Arctic dominated with a well-developed sea ice cover in winter/spring. In this poster we show the variety of research such observatories have supported by linking them into process-based research programs. We consider the oceanographic dynamics of the ocean-shelf-fjord exchanges, impacts on the glacial dynamics and sea ice cover. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of the observatories to study a range of biological events over all trophic levels (phytoplankton blooms, zooplankton dynamics and fish distributions). We also show the observatory can be used to explore environmental proxies. As observing systems become more sophisticated and extensive, we argue that deep insights can be gained from extended deployments of moored observatories particularly when combined with surveys by new generation robotic and autonomous technologies.