Photo: Søren Rysgaard

There are no permanent tide gauge stations in Northeast Greenland which is recognized as a gab in the existing network. GIOS will facilitate the expansion of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) tide gauge network by installing tide gauge (sea level) stations in Northeast Greenland. Internationally the combined new tide gauge network will contribute to a more complete understanding of the ocean currents exiting the Arctic Ocean, sea ice “drainage” volumes, the potential timing of open water in summer in the Arctic Ocean. Changing regional ocean currents control the transport of heat and freshwater to northern latitudes which again impacts sea ice and the sequestration of atmospheric CO2.

The productive marine waters around Greenland are receive a constant ocean nutrient supply and changes in this will have considerable impacts for both the local fishing industry and natural distributions of higher organisms (fish, marine mammals and birds). Currently, there are only three Danish sites with sustained coordinated observations (Daneborg, Qeqertarsuaq and Nuuk) and all are coastal sites with limited temporal coverage. GIOS will develop equipment to sustainably improve the geographical and temporal coverage in Greenland coastal and shelf waters incorporating continuous measurements of physical and biological ecosystem components (Essential Ocean Variables, EOV). This will include facilities for operations in remote locations and near settlements.

A profiling on-line mooring system for autonomous oceanographic measurements in Greenlandic shelf sea and fjord waters will be developed. This will supplement traditional fixed depth mooring systems and ship-based sampling to give necessary improved vertical and temporal coverage for systems where conditions change rapidly with depth and time, and where sea ice coverage and iceberg scouring presents a challenge. The profiling system can “hibernate” at depth or at the bottom as these waters are plagued with icebergs which extend deep and regularly damage equipment or result in loss. The mooring package will include standard physical and biogeochemical measurements covered by oceanographic programs and include an upward looking acoustic zooplankton and fish echosounder, and passive acoustic recorders for marine mammals. GIOS will construct and deploy four oceanographic systems with the goal of having at least two in operation in remote regions (79N and 74N) at all times in East Greenland and supplement with deployment in Disko Bay. Additionally, existing nonprofiling acoustic moorings in Nuup Kangerlua will be upgraded with oceanographic sensors.

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