One year drift across the Arctic Ocean completed

Professor Yngve Kristoffersen arrived in Longyearbyen on August 22nd 2015 with the hovercraft Sabvabaa after drifting across the inaccessible Arctic Ocean during one year. Together with Audun Tholfsen this FRAM 2014/15 ice drift station has made unique geological, sea ice, ocean and atmospheric measurements in these pristine parts of our planet during all four seasons. On 12 October Yngve Kristoffersen will give the Nansen Memorial Lecture at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters about the exploration of the Arctic Ocean.

Illustration: Yngve KristoffersenIllustration: Yngve Kristoffersen

FRAM 2014/15 is the first Norwegian ice drift in the Arctic Ocean since Fridtjof Nansen's drift with the vessel Fram 119 years ago.

The hovercraft and the ice drift station were deployed off the East Siberian coast by the German icebreaker Polarstern on 30. August 2014. The station has drifted 1900 kilometres across the Arctic Ocean until it ended in the Fram Strait one year later. On 18th August the ice drift station was recovered by the sealer Havsel and Sabvabaa was escorted back to Longyearbyen.

This completes the exceptional Norwegian FRAM-2014/15 ice drift station hosted by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Bergen, Norway.

The FRAM 2014-15 sea ice drift station was deployed in the Arctic Ocean about 280 kilometers from the North Pole in the direction of the East Siberian coast on 30th August 2014 by the German icebreaker Polarstern. A sea ice camp was built up on a 1,1 meter tick and 2 square kilometers large ice floe. For near one year the two scientists have drifted through the central Arctic Ocean, along and crossing the Lomonosov Ridge, southward towards the Fram Strait, between Greenland and Svalbard.

During the drift unique sea ice, oceanographic, atmospheric and geologic scientific measurements and observations have been made in pristine parts of the Arctic Ocean.

The FRAM 2014/15 expedition has been a remarkable and unique scientific expedition collecting data from atmosphere, sea ice, ocean and seabed in an area that is essentially unexplored because it is difficult to access with icebreakers. Professor Yngve Kristoffersen has proven that a hovercraft is a cost-efficient and flexible platform to conduct research in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean.

Mission completed. Professor Yngve Kristoffersen arrived in Longyearbyen after one year. Photo: Lasse H. Pettersson/NERSCMission completed. Professor Yngve Kristoffersen arrived in Longyearbyen after drifting with the ice in the Arctic Ocean for one year. Photo: Lasse H. Pettersson/NERSC
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