2012 ECS Arctic Mission

August 25 – September 28

Gulf of Alaska, showing planned tracklines, Extended Continental Shelf Project 2011 Gulf of Alaska cruise. Abbreviations: MCS, multichannel seismic; OBS, ocean-bottom seismometer; NM, nautical mile; EEZ, Exclusive Economic Zone.

Gulf of Alaska, showing planned tracklines, Extended Continental Shelf Project 2012 ECS Arctic Mission. Click image for larger version. Credit: USGS

USCG Cutter Healy set sail from Barrow, Alaska on August 25 and concluded its mission in Dutch Harbor, Alaska on September 28 (Figure 1). This was the ninth cruise aboard Healy in support of the U.S. ECS Project. The ship traversed more than 5,416 nautical miles collecting 20,000 sq nautical miles (69,000 sq km) of bathymetric data, an area the size of the states of Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Rhode Island combined. The cruise dropped 71 XBTs (expendable bathythermographs), 18 XCTD (expendable conductivity, temperature, depth) probes, took four CTDs with water samples, deployed nine buoys and profilers and drifters, and successfully completed five seafloor dredges. Cruise participants saw a total of five polar bears. Andy Armstrong maintained a blog while onboard Healy.