Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Oceanographic observation in the Bowdoin fjord near Qaanaaq, northwestern Greenland (From Qaanaaq 3)

After the field observations on Bowdoin Glacier, we conducted oceanographic observations at the Bowdoin Fjord. The fjord has been studied by our research group since 2013.

Near the carving front of Bowdoin Glacier, ice has been rapidly lost during recent years. This ice loss is probably affected by the bed geometry in front of the glacier and by the increase of ice melt due to fjord water warming. To better understand rapid change of the glacier front, we surveyed detailed bed geometry with an ultrasonic echo sounder and deployed several sensors in the fjord for measuring water temperature, salinity, and current speed over a year. Additionally, ice discharge from the glacier provides freshwater and suspended sediment from glacial erosion (turbid water) to the fjord. Freshwater discharge is particularly important because it enhances mixing of the fjord water. To investigate the impacts of sediment-rich subglacial discharge on the chemical material cycling and ecosystems of the fjord, we sampled fjord waters, phytoplankton, and fish. We also made seabirds observation by counting numbers and identifying species.

Naoya Kanna (Hokkaido University, A member of Theme 2)

Deployment of mooring instruments

Seawater sampling for chemical analysis

Sampling of zooplankton with a plankton net