DRIFT PATHS: The 4 drifts undertaken during N-ICE2015 field campaign. The legend gives the start and finish dates for the each of the drifts. The northern tip of Spitsbergen is visible in the bottom. The pale white background is the ice concentration in May 2015 from NSIDC. Map: Mats Granskog / Norwegian Polar Institute
The expedition was carried out by taking the Norwegian Polar Institute’s research vessel Lance to 83°N 21°E and let her drift with the ice, with the ship as a research base for the personnel and the ice floes surrounding it functioned as a research camp.
Conditions were challenging. The ice drifted faster than expected, and was also very dynamic. As we approached the ice edge, the rapid ice drift and dynamic conditions caused the ice floes carrying the research camp to break up, and we had to evacuate the camp. This happened on four occasions, and every time we had to re-establish the drifting research camp (see map).
The ice pack consisted mainly of first- and second-year sea ice, with a thickness of around 1.3–1.5 m. This is representative of a thinner ice pack than what has been studied earlier in the Arctic. As such, we met the conditions for studying a thinner Arctic sea ice pack, the