81.55° North, 87.48° East – Sunny, -2.2 °C, wind speed: 4.4 m/s

The Arctic Century Expedition reaches the sea ice edge

On the evening of 18 August, two weeks after leaving the harbour of Murmansk, the Arctic Century Expedition reached the edge of the sea ice during an oceanographic transect running from the north of Franz Josef Land to Komsomolets Island in the north of the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago.

During the evening, the expedition members shared scientific talks and discussions about the work being done on board. In general, there are two meetings a week with all participants of the expedition during which they are informed about current results and the scientific programme.

The Akademik Tryoshnikov reached the first ice floes at 11:30 pm at a latitude of 82.30° N and a longitude of 64.19° E, while five marine geologists were sampling sea-floor sediments in a water depth of 275 metres. They successfully recovered a box core and gravity core in the eastern Voronin trough. On the morning of 19 August, expedition participants spotted the first polar bears on the sea ice under clear, blue skies.

Marine geologists scrutinising the freshly-collected box core. © 2021 Swiss Polar Institute, CC BY 4.0
First polar bear spotted by an Arctic Century Expedition participant on the sea ice. © 2021 Peter Ryan, all rights reserved

Header photograph: The Akademik Tryoshnikov breaking through the sea ice.
Rights: © 2021 Swiss Polar Institute, CC BY 4.0