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Arctic 2002: Breathtaking Under-ice Diving Photography

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Uploaded on May 16, 2007

Breathtaking. . .that's the best way Jeremy Stewart, the Arctic Expedition Dive supervisor, found to describe his experiences diving under the ice in the frigid Arctic waters.

The flexibility of the Department of Fisheries, Oceans Canada and National Geographic divers proved essential for the sea-ice ecological component of the expedition. Divers performed a variety of tasks including video transects, water sampling, and organism collection. These images of the divers were collected during the 2002 expedition by the Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from Deep Sea Systems, Inc.

The difference between ice morphology at the sea surface and under the water is particularly impressive. Though ice is relatively flat at the sea surface, this footage from the ROV shows how ice thickness underwater can change drastically from a few centimeters to more than several meters within a few meters over a very short distance.

Because the ROV was connected to the ship via a fiberoptics tether, piloting the ROV underneath the ice was particularly challenging. Not only did the pilots need to monitor the position of the ROV relative to the ice, but they also had to always be cognizant of the tether. A string of floats gives the tether neutral buoyancy and prevents it from floating up under the ice.

Audio from DJ BLUE-FOG on the Bluff. Video footage courtesy of Emory Kristof, National Geographic, The Arctic 2002 Exploration, NOAA-OE.

Source: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explora...

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