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This spring we are embarking on an ocean voyage to the Arctic Ocean. We will be leaving from the UK on the research ship, the RRS James Clark Ross.
We will be heading northwards between Iceland and Norway and up to the East of Greenland. In this area the ocean is deep (deeper than 3000 metres!) We will be studying the waters of the deep ocean between Greenland and Svalbard, and also those of the shallower seas to the west of Greenland.
The ship will follow the three purple lines on the map above, to take samples of the seawater from the surface and all of the way to seafloor. We will also be taking samples of the seafloor sediments, and the small floating plants and animals that live in this habitat.
This is an important region of the Arctic to study as it is where currents move waters in and out of the Arctic. The waters from the Atlantic are very different from the Arctic waters and any changes to these currents may affect the surrounding ecosystems.
This region is also a key habitat for the West Ice Harp Seals. We are studying the movements of these seals as an indicator species of changes to the Arctic ecosystem.