FRAM-2020 is a 5-month ice drift to explore the submarine structures north of Greenland related to the late Cretaceous- early Teriary opening of the Eurasia Basin.
|Responsible institution:||Science: Department of Earth Science, Univ of Bergen
Field operation: Y-GEO, Bergen
|Principal Investigators:||Prof. Tor Arne Johansen
Prof. Emeritus Yngve Kristoffersen
|Expedition Team:||Prof. Emeritus Yngve Kristoffersen
Dr. Jan Erik Lie
Late Cretaceous/Early Cenozoic tectonic events in West Spitsbergen, Northeast Greenland and Ellesmere Island are time equivalent, but the related offshore tectonic structures are unknown.
to acquire seismic reflection and velocity information to:
Small source, single channel data, in low noise environment bellow the ice gives surprisingly good data
Advantages of an ice covered ocean
The drifting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is considered an obstacle to seismic exploration, but does never the less have two important advantages. Firstly, sea ice drift is mostly coherent over areas of tens of kilometers (Fig. 3) and enable you to maintain extended moving arrays not possible in the open ocean. In 1982 we successfully collected >200 km of multichannel seismic data using a 2 km linear array of 20 sonobuoys operating for a month (Kristoffersen and Husebye, 1984). Secondly, the ambient noise level below the sea ice lid is below sea state 0 in the open ocean. The past Fram- 2014/15 ice drift took advantage of this and collected 1000 km of seismic data using a 20 cuinch air gun and a single hydrophone to achieve 2 km of sub-bottom penetration in 3 km water depth.
The sea ice is a safe place. Nothing hits you. Opening of cracks or compressive motion in ridges involve relative motion of the order of a meter minute. First year ice 1.4 m thick has the strength and carrying capacity required to land a Boing 737 aircraft. In the more than 50-year history of ice drift stations, we do not know of lives lost due to ice movement. Lives lost have been related to helicopter or aircraft operations.
The planned Fram-2020 ice camp will report to regional rescue centers and be within reach of the Super Puma rescue helicopter stationed in Longyearbyen, via Greenland. The area of operation will experience the midnight sun and full daylight for the duration of the project.
The Arctic Ocean has experienced a 20-year period with annual seismic surveys by icebreakers driven by the need for documentation required to extend the EEZ. This activity has now ended, but at the same time outlined the limits of the capacity for seismic data acquisition by icebreakers. Unless an ice drift approach is used, the area north of Canada and north of Greenland will remain unexplored for decades to come. We expect the Fram-2020 expedition and use of nodes will demonstrate the potential for data quality combined with a lean logistic approach as an attractive method to explore the remaining inaccessible areas of the Arctic Ocean.