The Beaufort Gyre Observing System 2004 : mooring recovery and deployment operations in pack ice Report uri icon


  • Situated beneath the Arctic perennial ice pack, the principal components of the Beaufort Gyre Observing System are three deep-ocean bottom-tethered moorings with CTD and velocity profilers, upward looking sonars for ice draft measurements, and bottom pressure recorders. A major goal of this project is to investigate basin-scale mechanisms regulating freshwater and heat content in the Arctic Ocean and particularly in the Beaufort Gyre throughout several complete annual cycles. The methods of recovering and re-deploying the 3800 m long instrumented moorings from the Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker Louis S. St. Laurent in August 2004 are described. In ice-covered regions, deployments must be conducted anchor-first, so heavier wire rope and hardware must be incorporated into the mooring design. Backup buoyancy at the bottom of the mooring is advised for backup recovery should intermediate lengths of the mooring system get tangled under ice floes during recovery. An accurate acoustic survey to determine the exact location of the mooring, adequate ice conditions, and skilled ship maneuvering are all essential requirements for a successful mooring recovery. Windlass (or capstan) procedures could be used for the recovery, but a traction winch arrangement is recommended.

publication date

  • 2005