ASP Station Nord Campaign

Study Area:  Villum Research Station is a research facility at the military outpost Station Nord in high arctic North Greenland (81°36’ N, 16°40’ W).

Submitted by: Søren Rysgaard


The Arctic is under increasing pressure from combined climate change, pollution and exploration and exploitation of living, hydrocarbon and mineral resources, but the scientific basis for assessing and predicting the complex effects on ecosystems, human livelihood and health is patchy and poorly coordinated. Finally, basic research into the Arctic environment and its ecosystems is still limited, as the area is one of the least investigated in the world. Given the rapid climate changes and ongoing rapid developments in the infrastructure and various business sectors in the Arctic there is an urgent need for recruiting highly educated staff with Arctic experience and insight. The Canadian Excellence Research Chair has initiated a comprehensive Arctic Science Partnership (ASP), a collaboration between University of Manitoba, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources and the Aarhus University to increase knowledge on climate, ice, ecosystems and human interactions. The ASP Station Nord campaign examines a sub-Arctic system under change.

Project Description

In 2015 the ASP team organized its first field study at Station Nord using the new Villum Research Station. In the spring teams set up a field camp near the ice edge making it possible to study atmosphere, sea ice and ocean processes with special focus on the exchange fluxes between them.

The aim of this campaign is to study various exchange processes related to different sea ice types and open water given the existing access to drifting ice floes exiting the Arctic Ocean. Scientists use airboats, hovercrafts and an ultralight aircraft to reach drifting sea ice and open water to study processes for particle formation and particle growth, and greenhouse gas flux measurements over the ice, open water, and land. Activities also include mapping of the bathymetry and transects to the inner parts of the fjords and to glacier regions. Various types of ocean moorings, AUVs are deployed to coincide with data collection in the air using mobile weather stations and and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). This multidiscipline work integrates atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, glaciology, oceanography, biogeochemistry, microbiology, biology and geology.  In addition to winter campaigns, researchers will be active throughout the summer in more open-water conditions. 

The rationale behind this study is to increase year round knowledge on sub-arctic ecosystems. 

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Principal Investigators (CEOS): Søren Rysgaard, David Barber, Igor Dmitrenko, Jens Ehn, Tim Papakyriakou

U Manitoba: Sergei Kirillov, David Babb, Heather Kyle, Yubin Hu


Funding and/or Other Support

The primary logistics centre is the Villum Research Facilities at Station Nord. The study is supported by the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) program, the Nordic Centre of Excellence CRAICC and DEFROST.

For more information contact:

Dr. Søren Rysgaard

Fig. 1
Site map.

Fig. 2
Near one of the icebergs anchored in the multi-year landfast ice. Credit: David Babb.

Fig. 3
Villum Research Station buried in snow. Credit: Heather Kyle.

Fig. 4
The deployment of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler in the mooring position. Credit: Nicolas-Xavier Geilfus.