UAF scientists to join Arctic Ocean expedition

Cruise map for the SWERUS-C3 expedition
Cruise map for the SWERUS-C3 expedition

Yuri Bult-Ito

Scientists Igor Semiletov and Natalia Shakhova have been busy getting ready for an international research expedition across the Arctic Ocean that will begin next week and continue through October.

Semiletov and Shakhova, both of the University of Alaska Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center, will join the Swedish-Russian-U.S. Arctic Ocean Investigation of Climate-Cryosphere-Carbon Interactions.

With 80 researchers on board Sweden’s icebreaker Oden, SWERUS-C3 is the largest international research expedition in which Shakhova and Semiletov have participated.

The 100-day expedition will take place in two legs. From July 6 to Aug. 20, the Oden will sail from Tromsø, Norway, to Barrow, Alaska, along the coast of the Russian polar sea. With Semiletov as chief scientist, researchers will study methane held in permafrost and gas hydrates in the seas above the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.

IARC researcher Igor Semiletov
Igor Semiletov

IARC researcher Natalia Shakhova
Natalia Shakhova
The second leg will follow a course from Barrow to Tromsø over the Lomonosov Ridge, an underwater mountain chain near the North Pole. Researchers will investigate how relatively warm Atlantic water flows and how carbon is transported from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf seas to the deep seas of the Arctic Ocean.

Throughout the expedition, researchers will also study the role of arctic clouds in the climate system.

To learn more about the SWERUS-C3 program, visit:

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Igor Semiletov, IARC research professor, or 907-474-6286; Natalia Shakhova, IARC research associate professor, or 907-474-2796.