The members of the expedition of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) returned to the port of St. Petersburg aboard the ship "Akademik Treshnikov". The polar explorers have had a year of fruitful work at the Cape Baranova Ice Base on the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago. The ship has traveled 9,853 miles of sea expanses, some of which had to be passed among icebergs and through ice fields.
The research program at the AARI high-latitude observatory at Cape Baranova was very extensive. The scientists conducted standard and specialized meteorological, oceanographic, ice, seismic, aerological, geophysical, and other observations and studies. In accordance with the program of the marine expedition, the search and selection of a suitable ice floe for the installation of the platform “North Pole”, helicopter operations for unloading equipment for the wintering camp, aviation work with landings on ice fields, the placement of drifting buoys were carried out.
During the marine part of the expedition, the “Akademik Treshnikov” covered 9,853 miles from St. Petersburg through Murmansk to the waters of the Northern Sea Route and back, including 2,300 miles in iceberg waters and 1,030 miles in ice. As part of the expedition, the ship provided supplies to the polar station at Cape Baranova, delivering 480 tons of cargo and providing a partial change of the station’s science team.
“With the start of the expedition ‘North Pole – 41’, the Cape Baranova Ice Base acquires a new, strategically important significance for us. Now, in addition to planned scientific research, it will become a reference point for transport and communication operations to ensure the work of the drifting station. It will also become a significant link in the spatially distributed observatory, combining the ice-resistant platform "North Pole", the Russian Research Center on the Svalbard archipelago, and the hydrometeorological observatory "Tiksi". Scientific data, among other things, will be used to prepare forecasts for the ice situation to ensure navigation along the Northern Sea Route,” said Aleksandr Makarov, director of AANI.
Work at the research station Cape Baranova Ice Base in the Arctic is carried out year-round. In the winter of this year, an extensive complex of standard and special hydrometeorological and geophysical observations at the station will be performed by 19 AANI scientists. From spring to autumn, for glaciological, hydrological, geomorphological, and other types of observations, the team of specialists is traditionally expanded. During the warm season, several more research teams will additionally join the expedition at the station.
The research station Cape Baranova Ice Base is located at latitude 79°17'. This is the northernmost point in the overall large-scale distributed observation network in the Arctic, which also includes the Russian Research Center on the Svalbard archipelago in the village of Barentsburg, the research observatory in the village of Tiksi, regular Arctic expeditions of the scientific expedition vessels “Akademik Fedorov” and “Akademik Treshnikov”. The data of observations at the ice base at Cape Baranova are promptly used in making forecasts.