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Home run for the RV Maria S. Merian:
Research vessel sets off towards the Baltic Sea ice
for the "Deep Baltic" mission

09.03.2021 – The microstructure probe on the ice.

After approximately 150 nautical miles more with two storm days we are finally on the ice. Here the second focus of the cruise starts and there are many exciting things to report about several research topics, seasickness, the deafening noise of breaking ice and the fascinating ice landscapes. But because we just were talking about the MSS, I'll continue with that for now.

Drilling the ice hole through which the MSS will be lowered into the depths is one of the first tasks once we have found a stable ice station in the morning. And then it's drop, heave, drop, heave for the MSS team, for a total of 8 hours, divided into 4 shifts. In a small distance from the MSS ice hole, a current meter has been sunk into another ice hole. It measures the water movement in the upper 10 m below the ice, caused by the drift of the ice alone. These signals must be taken into account later when evaluating the MSS profiles.

After a 2 hour shift at what feels like -10° it is good to have a dedicated replacement ready to take over. And after 8 hours it becomes critical for the equipment as well. The data cable, over which the transmission from the probe works, but also the winch, with which the probe is pulled up, show first failure symptoms. It is time to call it a day.


Text: Barbara Hentzsch (IOW)
Photos: Toralf Heene (IOW), Barbara Hentzsch | click photos to enlarge

Expedition: MSM99
Mission: Deep Baltic
Start: 25.02.2021 - Emden
Destination: 23.03.2021 - Emden


Maria S. Merian: current position


Research Vessel Maria S. Merian