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HSVA as part of MOSAiC - the biggest arctic expedition of all times!

In fall 2019 the biggest arctic expedition of all times – the MOSAiC Expedition1 led by the Alfred-Wegener-Institut2 - has started: Polarstern left Tromsø harbour to travel towards north, where it is frozen into the ice now for about one year drifting across the Arctic along with the natural ice drift. This is a high-tech repetition of the famous Fram Expedition 1893-1896. While Fridtjof Nansen’s original intention was to reach the North Pole, this expedition’s scope is to record interdisciplinary data during an entire annual cycle including the arctic winter. The data shall serve mankind to understand this sensitive region, also with respect to climate change. These days 20 nations, abt. 600 people on board and further 300 people at home are involved in this expedition. HSVA’s role in MOSAiC is to measure lateral ice pressure in the vicinity of Polarstern and to monitor the resulting loads on the vessel itself. Therefore, HSVA had contracted the Hamburg University of Technology to install strain gauges and temperature sensors on the steel structure of the vessel. Partners from Europe, USA and Asia install and maintain ice pressure panels in the ice on behalf of HSVA. The recorded data is expected to give insight in lateral ice pressure in the vicinity of structures, but it is also to be understood as the basis for all kinds of generic ice studies. HSVA’s work within MOSAiC is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (reference number 03SX365A).


MOSAiC field study