Navy: the campaign in Arctic High North21 begins

(To Marina Militare)

The multi-purpose research vessel Alliance the marine geophysics campaign begins today, Friday 11 June 2021 High North21, the fifth expedition to the Arctic of the Italian Navy, with the scientific coordination of the Hydrographic Institute of the Navy (IIM).

Ship Alliance, owned by NATO and with the flag and crew of the Navy, left Italy on 21 May after following the COVID 19 health protocol and arrived on 8 June (World Oceans Day) in the Norwegian port of Tromsø for a short technical stop.

Team High North21 is composed of 45 crew members and 20 between researchers and scientists belonging to the IIM, al Center for Maritime Research & Experimentation of NATO (CMRE) and al Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Union (EU). In the scientific team High North21 there are six young people to demonstrate the particular attention of the Navy for training with the aim of supporting more concretely the action of the United Nations for the Decade of the Sea for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development), with the program dedicated to the Ocean Generation - Early Carrier Ocean Professional - for the vision of the decade the science we need for the ocean we want.

This year part of the campaign activities High North 21 they will be developed in coordination with the CMRE for the project Nordic Recognized Environmental Picture (NREP21), “Joint High North21-NREP21”.

The goal of High North 21 will be aimed at the knowledge of the ocean for the Decade of the sea to realize the 3D-mapping, that is a multidisciplinary three-dimensional mapping obtained with the integration of the data acquired from multiple multi-platform systems, from the satellite to the substrate, for environmental characterization.

In particular, the hydro-oceanographic research activity High North 21 it will be focused mainly in unexplored areas, near the limits of sea ice and environmental observation sites. Furthermore, the contribution to environmental monitoring will be fundamental to give a temporal continuity to the acquisition of the data series, where anchoring chains of instruments and sensors at different depths (mooring), already operating and belonging to the Svalbard Integrated Observing System (SIOS). This synergistic activity is an expression of the commitment of the Navy through the IIM with the main Italian research centers (National Research Council - CNR, National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics - OGS, National Agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development - ENEA and National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology - INGV) and the Norwegian Research Institute FFI (Norwegian Defense Research Establishment).

Two new mooring annual (CIO I and CIO II), in collaboration with the CMRE and with theOffice Naval Research (ONR) of the USA, will be positioned in the Strait of Fram, Molloy Hole area, to monitor water masses with long-term in situ observations supplemented by short-term surveys.

The data collection will be dedicated to the characterization of the morphological structures of the seabed, to the analysis of the water column, to the collection of acoustic images of the seabed and to the optical measurements in the water column; all aimed at obtaining the 3D-mapping of the area (Fram Strait and Yermak Plateau, Arctic Ocean).

The activities will be focused on the study of the seabed and the evolution of particular ocean processes subjected to different climatic and environmental conditions in order to evaluate the variability of bio-geo-chemical and physical parameters, marine pollution, speed and depth of the current. (superficial and deep), present in the Strait of Fram, west of the Svalbard Islands, the dynamics of the Arctic and the relationship with the changes in the circulation of the North Atlantic.

High North 21 is technological innovation and research for a sustainable ocean, also through the implementation of the ARNACOSKY program (ARctic NAvigation with COsmo SKYmed), a joint research project between IIM and the company e-Geos / Telespazio to navigate the Arctic at the edge of the ice, providing for the better route in safety, monitoring the environmental dynamics.