On July 4th, the Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen left Quebec City for its 17th annual scientific mission. The multidisciplinary expedition will run until November 3rd and will allow a contingent of scientists from national and international research teams to study the marine and coastal environments of the Canadian and Greenlandic waters. From aquatic microorganisms to carbon cycle to melting glaciers and seabed mapping, all aspects of the northern environment will be studied during the 122 days of the expedition.
As we progressively emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of the 2021 CCGS Amundsen scientific expedition is framed by all the appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of Canada’s northern communities and sea-going personnel.
The 2021 expedition will support 9 multidisciplinary research programs, consisting of almost all research programs that were postponed from 2020 in addition to new ones. Through partnerships with universities, governmental institutions, northern communities and the unparalleled support of the Canadian Coast Guard, the CCGS Amundsen will support operations in the Labrador Sea, Baffin Bay, the Northwest Passage and the Beaufort Sea.
4 to 15 July – Quebec City to St. John’s
The first Leg of the Expedition is dedicated to seabed habitats study for the Marine Spatial Planning Program of the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The scientific operations conducted during this leg include seafloor mapping surveys, sediment coring activities and bottom camera deployments on the Northeast Newfoundland shelf and slope.
15 July to 12 August– St. John’s to Iqaluit
Leg 2 of the 2021 Expedition will use the new Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to study key coral habitats and seabed seep features in the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. The ArcticNet marine program will also conduct varied scientific operations with a focus on sediment coring activities, bottom camera deployments and contaminant studies. In addition, moorings recoveries and deployments will take place at 5 locations.
12 August to 9 September – Iqaluit to Resolute Bay
Leg 3 of the 2021 Expedition will take place in Baffin Bay and Lancaster Sound. The Knowledge and Ecosystem Based Approach in Baffin Bay (KEBABB) program will sample various components of the ecosystem along 5 transects in the Southern Baffin Bay area. In between these stations, dedicated bottom mapping and river sampling for the ArcticNet program will take place, in addition to ArcticNet historical transect in the Hudson Strait and in the Davis strait. Scientific operations will also take place in Quaqtaq (QC) for the Sentinel North program.
9 September to 7 October – Resolute Bay to Cambridge Bay
Leg 4 programs will study the Permafrost Carbon in the Beaufort Sea (PeCaBeau) through biogeochemical and carbon cycling studies of seawater and sediments at more than 20 stations. In addition, the Radiocarbon Distributions and Carbon Cycling between Baffin Bay and the Beaufort Sea (RADCARBBS) program and ArcticNet marine program will be onboard. They will study fishes, plankton, contaminants, carbon cycle and biogeochemistry in the Northwest Passage and along key historical transects.
7 October to 3 November – Cambridge Bay to Quebec City
During the final Leg of the 2021 Expedition, an integrated study (DarkEdge) will take place at the ice edge to study the key processes taking place during the fall-winter transition in northern Baffin Bay. The Sentinel North program will deploy an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and contribute to the Dark Edge campaign. The CCGS Amundsen will sail to Quebec City for the end of the annual expedition on November 3rd.