Central Irminger Sea (CIS) station

Location of  Central Irminger Sea (CIS) station
Location of Central Irminger Sea (CIS) station

Cool facts or discoveries

Cool story 1

Because of the exceptional rough surface conditions at the CIS site only a small, lightweight surface buoy is used for telemetry (developed by IFM-GEOMAR).

Cool story 2

The northern North Atlantic is a particularly harsh environment. High surface waves and gale force winds can be found throughout the region for a large part of the year (and not only during winter time). Winds can transfer significant amounts of energy into the surface ocean generating large waves in the region.

For moored instrumentation at or near the surface, a special design is required to withstand the natural forces. To minimize the strain, small and lightweight mooring components are used at the Central Irminger Sea site. In particular the surface buoy is a glass ball of only 40 centimetres in diameter, which hosts all electronic components and batteries to collect data from the mooring and to send it every 4 hours via satellite to shore.

Wave height and wind climatology in the North Atlantic:

Figure: Corrected 100-year return value estimates of significant wave height (meters) based on ERA-40 data from 1958 to 2000

Figure: Corrected 100-year return value estimates of wind speed at 10m height (U10) in meters/second based on ERA-40 data from 1958 to 2000.

The two maps show the good correlation between wind intensity and surface waves.

Cool story 3

Seawater can be very corrosive and after only 12 month can substantially damage even galvanized 2 cm diameter shackles. This is particularly true when different types of metal (steel, titan) are mixed. We now “isolate” the metal from its surroundings using a plastic cover.

Scientists or technicians in charge of the observatory

1
Andreas Pinck
Engineer
2
Johannes Karstensen
Scientist
3
Gerd Niehus
Technician

Name of their institution

Leibniz-Institute for Marine Sciences IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany

Distance from shore

About 80 nautical miles from the rural Greenland coast (2 days sailing from Reykjavik (Island) or St. John's (Canada))

Max depth

2800 m