The SSF Ocean Flagship

Main goal

The main goal of the Svalbard Science Forum (SSF) Ocean Flagship is to increase scientific cooperation between all countries and institutions actively involved in the marine research in the Svalbard area, in particular in the coastal areas and the open ocean.

By bringing together all international partners involved in the long-term ocean observations around Svalbard the project will initiate a new SSF flagship program for scientific cooperation focused on physical oceanography, biogeochemistry, marine biology and ecosystem studies in the European sector of the Arctic Ocean.

The Flagship will cover all components of in situ observing system for the ocean around Svalbard including moorings, landers and bottom anchored buoys. Mobile platforms, both drifting (surface and ice buoys and floats) and navigated (gliders) will be also included. Repeated ship-based surveys should be also addressed in terms of mooring field operations (deployments, recoveries) and provision of complementary data.

Specific goals

The SSF Ocean Flagship program aims in:

  • Strengthening of the ocean component in the Svalbard Integrated Observing System (SIOS) and the Arctic component of EuroGOOS – the Arctic ROOS (http://arctic-roos.org);
  • Enhancing the collaboration between groups of researchers from different institutions and countries, working on variability of physical and biological ocean environment around Svalbard and in the European Arctic and facing similar scientific and logistical challenges;
  • Optimal exploiting of available oceanic platforms (moorings, drifting platforms, autonomous vehicles), instruments and data sets for monitoring, long-term measurements and process studies in the ocean around Svalbard and beyond;
  • Long-term use of new observing technologies for improved spatial and temporal coverage in ocean sciences with an emphasis on multifunctional and multidisciplinary observing platforms (e.g. ice tethered platforms, gliders, moorings);
  • Increasing coherence and complementarity in the long-term ocean observations to address the key questions about the Arctic climate change and related feedbacks and effects on the ocean environment;
  • Improving access to and foster further development of the common infrastructure for the long-term ocean observations in the Svalbard region;
  • Establishing a joint, state-of-the art web-based platform for exchanging the information about deployed platforms, short- and long-term plans for moored infrastructure, available field cruises for mooring operations, search and rescue opportunities for lost moorings and vehicles, metadata and data sharing;
  • Addressing potential joint solutions for the logistic challenges (storage, work space, transportation, and pier capacity) in Longyearbyen in connection to ocean field experiments.