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Research Expedition to the Bering Sea - TN249
Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson
May 9 - June 14, 2010

Updated:   July 12, 2010

      Our Spring 2010 Bering Sea Ecosystems cruise was the fourth in a series of annual spring trips through the BEST-BSIERP program in conjunction with NOAA's NPCREP* program, and jointly funded by NSF and NPRB.  This R/V Thomas G. Thompson cruise carried scientists from a multiple of disciplines, measuring ocean conditions and food web productivity on the eastern Bering Sea shelf. These fit into the larger directive of this multi-year project addressing the study and inter-relationship of climate, oceanography, fisheries biology, marine mammals, seabirds, and local and traditional knowledge.
      This Spring was an icy, cold one, with ice present much further south on the eastern Bering Sea shelf than predicted. North winds slowed the expected meltback to more northern latitudes. After a number of warmer years and earlier ice retreat, especially 2000-2005, this year's ice extent was the furthest south at this late Spring date than has occurred in 60 years. As reported by the National Weather Service, ""Historical ice charts dating back to the 1950s have not record of sea ice remaining at St. George Island in the month of May."
      Five scientists from the EcoFOCI project were out on the ship, handling hydrography, water sampling, nutrients and O2 analysis, and ice sampling.
R/V Thompson, May 2010, in Bering Sea ice
The ship R/V Thompson, a view of the Bering Sea, and ice sample collection. Thanks to the University of Washington, Oceanography, Marine Operations for these photos.

Water samples from 5-meters depth were taken from the underway seawater sampling system and analyzed to obtain these along-track data. Plots shown below:  temperature, salinity, chlorophyll fluorescence, and nitrate concentration. [scroll, then click for full size]
Along-track near-surface water temperature, eastern Bering Sea shelf, April, 2010

Along-track near-surface salinity, eastern Bering Sea shelf, April, 2010

Along-track near-surface chlorophyll, eastern Bering Sea shelf, April, 2010

Along-track near-surface NO3, eastern Bering Sea shelf, April, 2010

NSF - National Science Foundation
NPRB - North Pacific Research Board
BEST - Bering Ecosystem Study
BSIERP - Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NPCREP - North Pacific Climate Regimes and Ecosystem Productivity

    EcoFOCI Project Office
7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, Washington 98115
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