August 15 - September 8, 2002
This summer, an international team of 50 scientists from the United States, Canada, China and Japan, participated in a collaborative effort to explore the frigid depths of the Canada Basin, located in the Arctic Ocean. Due to the region's heavy year-round ice cover, this expedition was the first one of its kind
With the aid of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) specially designed to operate under ice and at great depth, scientists examined the hidden world of life in these extreme conditions. Due to the Canada Basin's remote location, it was possible that they would encounter never before seen lifeforms.
From intricate microscopic organisms found in the brine channels that run through the ice to the creatures that make the sea bottom their home, the science team studied the relationships between pelagic (deep-water) and benthic (bottom-dwelling) communities. They investigated the manner in which food energy is transferred from the surface of the ice, through the water column, and to the bottom of this harsh environment. In addition, they analyzed bottom sediments to determine their chemical makeup, as well as help reconstruct the climatic history and paleo-ecological events that formed the region.
Background information for this expedition can be found on the left side of the page. Daily updates are included below. More detailed logs and summaries of exploration activities are found on the right.
Updates & Logs
Click images or links below for detailed mission logs.
Catch a glimpse of what the divers see under the ice. (Quicktime, 1 Mb)
Observe the hidden realm beneath the ice. (Quicktime, 1 Mb)
Despite the barren appearance of pack ice, it actually teems with fascinating organisms that are not visible. (Quicktime, 1.4 Mb)
Also, Arctic Science Journeys Radio conducts an audio interview with the science party.
Watch video footage of polar bears on the ice. (Quicktime, 1.2 Mb)
Watch a video of the first successful ROV sampling and a jellyfish swimming. (Quicktime, 796 Kb)
Watch a video of the first launch of the ROV Global Explorer. (Quicktime, 620 Kb)
Watch a video of the science team as they conduct an ice core sampling. (Quicktime, 296 Kb)
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