FAABulous fieldwork in Van Mijenfjorden

PhD candidate Ane Cecilie Kvernvik with a block of sea ice with algae underneath it. FAABulous campaign 2017. Photo: Eva Leu.

Top image: UNIS PhD candidate Ane Cecilie Kvernvik with a block of sea ice with algae underneath it. Photo: Eva Leu.
The FAABulous project is having a two-week sea ice campaign in Van Mijenfjorden. The aim of the project is to get a better understanding of how Arctic algae blooms will respond to the severe environmental changes.

27 April 2017
Text: UNIS

The FAABulous project (Future Arctic Algae Blooms and their role in the context of climate change) field campaign is led by Eva Leu (Akvaplan-niva). The aim is to better understand how Arctic algae blooms will respond to the severe environmental changes we currently observe, Leu explains.

The FAABulous project study the seasonal development of microalgae in sea ice and water in two contrasting fjord systems, Kongsfjorden and Van Mijenfjorden, along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

Ice algae bloom under sea ice
Ice algae bloom underneath the sea ice in Van Mijenfjorden. Photo: Blueye Robotics.

– The timing of our campaign in Van Mijenfjorden is just perfect, as we observe an intense algal bloom in the lowermost part of the sea ice, and a beginning bloom in the water masses underneath. In combination with the data from our autonomous observatories we have placed out a while ago, this will give us a unique chance to gain insights into the environmental control of algal blooms, Leu says.

Light measurements on sea ice
Also light measurements are done during the FAABulous field campaign in Van Mijenfjorden this spring. Photo: Eva Leu.

In addition to traditional sampling the scientists also deploy underwater robots in collaboration with AMOS (Centre of Excellence at NTNU) to map sea ice conditions over a wider area.

– In parallel, we are going to have a cruise with the coast guard vessel KV Svalbard that will collect samples from the outer part of Van Mijenfjorden that is not ice-covered by now, Leu says.

BluEye Underwater drone testing
The underwater drone BluEye, developed at NTNU, is tested in Van Mijenfjorden during the FAABulous project. Photo: Martin Ludvigsen.
Water sampling in Van Mijenfjorden
FAABulous scientists sample sea water in Van Mijenfjorden. Photo: Eva Leu.

About FAABulous
The FAABulous project aims to increase our understanding about the response of Arctic algal blooms to ongoing sea ice decrease in the Arctic. This is a key to predict changes in food web structure and productivity of the Arctic marine ecosystem.

The project is led by Eva Leu, Akvaplan-niva, and is carried out in close collaboration with UNIS, University of Tromsø, Nord University, NIVA, Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Science and Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology (Germany).

Related links
FAABulous webpage: https://mare-incognitum.no/index.php/faabulous
UNIS news 19.03.2017: Research cruise with the coast guard ship KV Svalbard

FAABulous group photo
Happy FAABulous scientists in Van Mijenfjorden. Photo: Tom Brown.
Arctic Biology Projects Research