Icebreaker expedition collects key Arctic seafloor and ice data



The recently completed Healy-Oden Trans-Arctic Expedition 2005 (HOTRAX′05) retrieved 29 piston cores averaging nearly 12 meters in length from a complete transect across the central Arctic Ocean (Figure 1). These cores provide a critically-needed sample cache for both a pan-Arctic stratigraphy and a long-awaited paleoclimate record that it is hoped will greatly improve the understanding of how deepwater is exchanged between Arctic basins, how the climate system in the Arctic works over longer time intervals, and how the Arctic system interacts with global systems. The coring was done from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Healy, while oceanographic measurements were made from the Swedish icebreaker Oden.

In addition to coring and oceanography, HOTRAX mapped the seafloor with multibeam bathymetry and collected chirp sonar profiles that not only mapped the strata to a sub-bottom depth of 50–100 meters, but also provided detailed information on the geologic context of the core sites.