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Images: Knorr Skirts Ice to Search for 'Arctic Haze'

Before sailing to the Arctic, the research vessel Knorr had undergone $240,000 in structural modifications at a shipyard in South Carolina to accommodate the weight of instrument-filled steel containers resembling small mobile homes, called vans.  Instruments inside the vans sampled Arctic air and water, which scientists were studying to learn how pollutants may be contributing to warming in the Arctic. (Photo by Derek Coffman, NOAA/PMEL)

Knorr carried scientists 7,394 nautical miles on a six-week expedition that departed Cape Cod in March (track noted in black). It was the northernmost journey on record for the 39-year-old research vessel.  At the Arctic expedition's conclusion in April, Knorr reamined near Iceland to assist with another science expedition.  (Map and ship tracks courtesy of Daniel Wolfe, NOAA )

“The weather going across and up was pretty rough the whole way, and we were heading almost right into it,” Capt. Kent Sheasley said about the wavy trip across the North Atlantic in early spring. (Photo by Derek Coffman, NOAA/PMEL)

Knorr's bosun Pete Liarikos routinely knocked ice from the ship while traveling between Svalbard and Greenland. (Photo by Derek Coffman, NOAA/PMEL)

During the trip, Knorr stopped in the Norwegian port Tromso, known for snowy weather and colorful seaside homes. (Photo by Derek Coffman, NOAA/PMEL)