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Arctic Floating University Reached the Northernmost Point
August 10, 2017 17:01

The expedition of the Arctic Floating University (AFU) has reached the Northernmost point in the history of the project, the expedition leader Konstantin Zaykov reported to TASS. As he said, access to these latitudes became possible due to climate changes.

On Tuesday the research ship Professor Molchanov with the Arctic expedition aboard stopped at the point with coordinates 81 degrees 15 minutes 7 seconds north latitude to the north of the islands of Kuna and Kane of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. This is the record for the project’s lifetime since 2012.

"The AFU-2017 has reached the northernmost point of not only this voyage, but all expeditions in the history of the floating university. It is the point north of the Kuna and Kane islands, near the island of Becker. Global climate change in the Arctic makes it possible to work in areas that were previously inaccessible. That is important for the training of young specialists who will work in the Arctic," – Mr. Zaikov pointed out.

The 9th expedition of the scientific and educational project" Arctic Floating University" was held from July 8 to 28, 2017. The expedition of 58 people, with more than half of them representing Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cuba, the Netherlands, France and Germany, travelled on board the ship "Professor Molchanov".

This is not just a research project, but also an educational project, so 30 participants of the expedition are students of Russian and foreign universities. The Arctic Floating University is a joint project of the M.V. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (Arkhangelsk) and Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring.

Studies in Fersman Island

The scientific group settled on Fersman Island in the central part of Franz Josef Land Archipelago and carried out field studies having selected rock samples. "Landing on the Fersman Island, in an initially unpromising area, turned out to be very successful, and interesting results were obtained on paleomagnetism and the emission of carbon dioxide. Further, these data will be processed on the mainland ", said expedition leader Konstantin Zaykov.

According to forecasts, this part of the archipelago was expected to be covered with ice, but the ship managed to approach the island in the area of Krenkel ​​Hayes Meteorological Observatory. On the island of Hayes, the landing had to be interrupted due to a polar bear coming. The group was evacuated from the island. The small island of Fersman is located opposite the island of Hayes, and the work was completed in full there.

The geological group of the expedition selected more than 40 rock samples: "We took paleomagnetic rock samples from interplastic dolerite bodies and dolerite contact probes with host rocks. What we have found is very important for understanding local geology.

"The small island turned out to be very informative," - said geologist Nikolai Mikhaltsov from the Novosibirsk State University. According to him, later on these samples will be studied in the laboratory. In particular, a special chamber, isolated from the Earth's magnetic field, is required to study the samples.


Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Arctic Arctic Floating University    

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