This first cruise of the Programme visited the Barents Sea between 7 July and 8 August 2017. Some 20 investigators from all four large projects in the Programme sailed on board the RRS James Clark Ross, carrying out sample collection and measurements.
Progress during the cruise to visit all 18 key stations went very well. The core measurements at each of these stations include nutrients, dissolved oxygen, plankton, zooplankton and microbial community analysis. Primary production experiments have also been carried out. At five of the stations, the seafloor has been sampled for sediment and pore water geochemistry, community structure, biodiversity and reproductive state of the benthic fauna, nitrogen cycling within the sediments, and the role of bioturbation.
A series of hydrographic transects across the shelf edge to the north and west of Svalbard and across the Polar Front have been completed to provide additional hydrographic context. A glider was successfully deployed and recovered that measured the temperature, salinity, light and chlorophyll in the water column.