SAS synthesis workshop report

Group photo of participants of the SAS synthesis workshop in Woods HoleThe SAS synthesis phase was initiated with a workshop in Woods Hole, June 7-9, 2023. Almost 40 participants brainstormed ideas for synthesis papers and how to establish an online SAS atlas of the Artic Ocean (as has been done for all the other oceans in the WOCE atlas).

Carin Ashjian hosted the workshop at the top floor of the Clark building at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute with a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean. A selection of the wonderful images taken by photographer Leonard Sussman on the Healy cruise to the North Pole were displayed during the workshop.

On the first day of the workshop, Øyvind Paasche introduced the background of the SAS initiative and the need to move forwards. All country representatives gave overviews of cruises contributing to the SAS data collection, and suggestions for pan-Arctic themes to study. Several participants presented results from individual cruises. The second day was used for discussions in break-out groups and in plenary. On the third day, we compiled a list of synthesis papers with assigned working groups and agreed on the road ahead. The full SAS synthesis workshop report describes this in more details.

Overview presentations

Individual presentations

A list of planned synthesis papers was compiled at the workshop.

Screenshot of online particpants (Karen and Jeehoon)

Screenshot of online participants (Pauline and Kumiko)
Screenshot of four online participants

Final registration for SAS synthesis workshop

Aerial photo of harbor in Woods Hole

The final registration for the International SAS Synthesis Workshop in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on June 7-9, 2023, has opened. Please fill out the event registration form to pay the fee of 100 USD and save a spot.

Hotel rooms have been reserved and can be booked according to the instructions in the SAS workshop travel information sheet. Please note that the discounted rates expire by the beginning of May.



Pre-registration for SAS synthesis workshop

Illustrative photo of harbor area in Woods Hole

Pre-registration for the International SAS Synthesis Workshop in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on June 7-9, 2023, has opened. Please fill out the pre-registration form to show us your interest so that we can plan for the number of attendees.

The workshop aims to discuss how to move forward with synthesis of data and of results, in order to achieve the baseline understanding of the fundamental structure and function of the linked carbon-ecosystem-physical systems in the Arctic Ocean. The goals are to overview the cruise results, establish networks of archived datasets, identify teams to address the key SAS research questions, and draft synthesis papers. It also provides an opportunity for teams of modelers and observationalists to identify projects that would use the SAS data in modeling efforts that expand understanding of the Arctic system.

The workshop is set up as a two- and a half-day program (until lunch on Friday June 9th), likely with plenary presentations in the morning and different break-out discussions in the afternoon. There will be opportunities for a modest number of posters to be available on each of the first two days. A registration fee of up to 100 USD to cover expenses on coffee breaks and lunch may be needed. Each participant must cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

For recommendations on travel and accommodation, please see the SAS Workshop Travel Information sheet.

SAS workshop June 7-9 2023 in Woods Hole

Illustrative photo of research cruise in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean

Save the dates!

The next international Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS) workshop will be held June 7-9, 2023, in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MA, USA.

Here we can share cruise reports, scientific results and discuss plans for collaborative studies. The workshop will include both oral presentations, poster sessions, discussions and smaller break-out sessions. Everyone relating to SAS is welcome to participate.

More information on registration and abstract submission will come.

Hope to see you in Woods Hole in June!

SAS session at ISAR-7 in Tokyo

Image of call-for-abstracts flyer of ISAR-7

On March 6-10, 2023, the Seventh International Symposium on Arctic Research (ISAR-7) will take place in Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan.

SAS has organized a special session (S4) to discuss the results from SAS cruises and provide an opportunity to start the synthesis phase.

All researchers related to SAS are encouraged to attend the SAS session. Please submit your abstract at the ISAR-7 webpage before October 31, 2022:

We hope to see you in Tokyo next year!


ISAR-7 session description:

(S4) Synoptic Arctic Survey – international collaboration for Arctic Ocean transdisciplinary studies

Main convener: Shigeto Nishino; Co-conveners: Carin Ashjian, Kumiko Azetsu-Scott, Kyoung-Ho Cho, Jacqueline Grebmeier, Jianfeng He, Motoyo Itoh, Sung-Ho Kang, Are Olsen, Øyvind Paasche, William Williams, Michiyo Yamamoto-Kawai

Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS) is a coordinated multi-ship, multi-nation, pan-Arctic, ship-based sampling campaign during 2020-2022 to study pan-Arctic ocean-circulation, biogeochemical cycles, and marine ecosystems. In this session, we discuss the results from SAS cruises and transdisciplinary scientific issues ultimately to assess risks and to develop policies that allow effective management.

Synoptic Arctic Survey community meeting

A Synoptic Arctic Survey community meeting was held on March 31st, in conjunction with the Arctic Science Summit Week in Tromsø. This was a hybrid meeting, with altogether approximately 40 scientists, program managers and early career scientists attending. Everyone thought it was really nice to meet and interact in person again, after two years with only virtual meetings.

The SAS has evolved into a massive effort with a lot of cruises conducted in 2020 and 2021, and some planned for 2022. Partners from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the USA presented past and future cruises. We were in particular impressed by the unique data collected on the German/Russian/Swiss “Arctic Century expedition” to the Barents and Laptev Seas, and troubled by the challenges that this important collaboration is facing in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

We further discussed how to proceed with the synthesis phase that the Synoptic Arctic Survey is now entering. Data sharing and authors for the different papers are issues that need to be resolved in the coming year. We ended the day by enjoying freshly caught cod – or skrei – from the Lofoten area.

The report from the meeting is available here and most of the presentations are available below:

Nansen Legacy Arctic Basin Cruise

As a Norwegian contribution to this year’s (2021) Synoptic Arctic Survey, the Arctic Basin cruise extended the sampling transect of Nansen Legacy project from the northern Barents Sea shelf and slope into the deep central Arctic Ocean. Using the Norwegian research icebreaker ‘Kronprins Haakon’, the team was able to investigate the Nansen and Amundsen Basin as well as the Gakkel Ridge separating the two basins during a five-week long expedition.

The Nansen Legacy Arctic Basin cruise covered a transect of 2330 km extending from the Nansen Basin NE of the Svalbard slope in the south to the northern part of the Amundsen Basin just south of the Lomonosov Ridge in the north. The geographic bounding box spanned 81.46-87.51°N and 31.34°E-21.53°W and covered a depth range of ca. 2800-4800 m, with sampling covering 2817-4290 m.
The Nansen Legacy Arctic Basin cruise covered a transect of 2330 km extending from the Nansen Basin NE of the Svalbard slope in the south to the northern part of the Amundsen Basin just south of the Lomonosov Ridge in the north. The geographic bounding box spanned 81.46-87.51°N and 31.34°E-21.53°W and covered a depth range of ca. 2800-4800 m, with sampling covering 2817-4290 m.

The scientific team on board was highly interdisciplinary, consisting of 34 participants including physical and chemical oceanographers, ice physicists, ecotoxicologists and biologists as well as safety and helicopter teams. About half of the science team consisted of early career researchers. Chief scientists were Agneta Fransson, Norwegian Polar Institute, and Bodil Bluhm, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.

Sampling efforts focused on sea ice and upper ocean work as well as connectivity to the mid and deep water column and underlying sediments. In addition, the role of transport of elements and organisms from the Siberian shelves through the Transpolar Drift was investigated. Indications of water masses with chemical signatures of the Transpolar Drift were encountered at the northernmost station at 87.5˚N and 17˚W.

The Nansen Legacy Arctic Basin Cruise took place at roughly the same time (Aug-Sep 2021) as the Swedish icebreaker ‘Oden’ was on its SAS expedition in the nearby region between Northeast Greenland and the North Pole.

Written by Lena Seuthe, Scientific advisor Nansen Legacy

Arctic Century Expedition – One month in the Russian Arctic on board the research icebreaker Akademik Tryoshnikov

An international team of scientists has spent a month on board the Russian research icebreaker, the Akademik Tryoshnikov, studying climate change impacts in the Arctic. From the atmosphere to the High Arctic islands, down the water column to the depths of the ocean, researchers are investigating the ecosystems and biodiversity of the region, and the role they play in our global cycles. Physical and chemical measurements of the atmosphere and the ocean seek to document their interactions with sea ice and to improve forecasts of the changing Arctic environment.

High-resolution ice and sediment cores, that we collect, will allow us understand the history of the ice caps, past climate variability and better understand our future. From the distant past to the present day, litter found at sea and on the beaches of these remote islands paints a picture of the current impact we have on our planet.

The research vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov at Cape Baranov (Severnaya Semlya), ©Swiss Polar Institute

This multidisciplinary expedition to the Kara and Laptev Seas, including the archipelagos of Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya, marks the celebration of one hundred years of the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

The Arctic Century Expedition brought together 29 scientists and 30 early career researchers from 13 countries, to bring new light to these internationally rarely-visited hotspots for climate studies in the Arctic. The expedition was organized jointly by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg, the Swiss Polar Institute and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany.

Point of contact: Dr. Heidemarie Kassens at GEOMAR

Open position: Project Manager for Synoptic Arctic Survey

At the Geophysical institute we have an open permanent position as Project Manager (Advisor) for the international secretariat of the Synoptic Arctic Survey, hosted by Norway and the UiB. The position is jointly funded by strategic allocations from the UiB and by the EU H2020 project ArcticPassion. The initial scope of the position may change with time, depending on future funding.