Project Description

Coordinated Eastern Arctic Experiment (CEAREX) Data: 1988-1989

Information in this document has been derived from documentation files on NSIDC's CD-ROM titled Eastern Arctic Ice, Ocean and Atmosphere Data, Volume 1: CEAREX-1, version 1.0, 8/91.


The Coordinated Eastern Arctic Experiment (CEAREX) was a multinational, multi-platform field program conducted in 1988 and 1989. The data collected during CEAREX were compiled by and are available on CD-ROM from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). For more information about the CD-ROM data set, please refer to the CEAREX data set documentation


Table of Contents

1. Project Overview
2. Data Availability
3. Data Access
4. Principal Investigator Information
5. Submitting Investigator Information
6. References
7. Acronyms and Abbreviations
8. Document Information

1.Project Overview

Name of Project

Coordinated Eastern Arctic Experiment (CEAREX)

Project Introduction

The CEAREX field program was conducted in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas north to Svalbard from September 1988 through May 1989. Canada, Denmark, France, Norway and the United States participated in the experiment. Bathymetry, biophysical, hydrography, meteorology, noise, sample position, and sea ice data were collected in four phases:

The CEAREX data are available on CD-ROM from NSIDC.

Detailed Project Description

The Coordinated Eastern Arctic Experiment began with the drift of the R/V POLARBJORN on September 17, 1988 and ended on May 19, 1989 when the POLARBJORN docked in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. In addition to the POLARBJORN, the R/V HAAKON MOSBY and two ice camps were also used to collect data.

POLARBJORN Drift Phase (September 1988 - January 1989)

CEAREX drift operations used the ship POLARBJORN as a scientific base. During early September 1988, the POLARBJORN made its way into a region of multiyear pack ice north of Svalbard with icebreaker support from the U.S. Coast Guard NORTHWIND. The POLARBJORN was allowed to freeze into the ice on September 16 at 82 degrees 41 minutes north, 32 degrees 26 minutes east. The ship was relatively immobile and drifted slowly southeastward with the ice pack toward Viktoriya Island, then southwestward past Kvitoya Island, and finally into the Barents Sea.

The large ice floe ("Alpha" Floe) to which the POLARBJORN was moored was used as a drifting data collection platform until November 15, when strong northwesterly winds destroyed the ice floe just northwest of Kvitoya. At this time, equipment was brought aboard and an attempt was made to return to Tromso, Norway. After several days of limited progress, 16 of the 20 scientists were airlifted to Spitsbergen on December 12. A strong storm in early January allowed the POLARBJORN to break free and return to Tromso on January 9, 1989. All drift operations were completed by mid-January 1989, and the ship operated in the Fram Strait and Barents Sea areas from late January until May 1989.

For a complete description of the POLARBJORN drift phase of CEAREX, please refer to:
Pritchard, R. S. et al. 1990 CEAREX Drift Experiment. EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 71(40):1115-1118.

Whaler's Bay/SIZEX Phase (January 1989 - May 1989)

The Seasonal Ice Zone Experiment (SIZEX) phase began on January 13, 1989, when the POLARBJORN sailed from Tromso en route to operations in Fram Strait. This phase of CEAREX consisted of two separate cruises. The first cruise lasted from February 9 until March 5, 1989, and the second one from March 8 until April 2, 1989. Biophysical oceanographic operations commenced April 4 and concluded May 17, 1989. The first SIZEX cruise concentrated on conditions in the vicinity of Bjornoya, south of Svalbard; all subsequent cruises were located in the Fram Strait region west of Svalbard.

The HAAKON MOSBY's (University of Bergen, Norway) participation in the SIZEX phase began on February 25, 1989, when the ship left Tromso, Norway, bound for regions in the Barents Sea. From February 26 to March 7, 1989, the ship operated in the general area between the Svalbard and the northern coast of Norway. On March 7, the HAAKON MOSBY headed northwest toward regions in the Fram Strait west and southwest of Svalbard, where the ship cruised seaward of the pack ice edge from March 11 to March 19, 1989. The HAAKON MOSBY then headed southeast into the Barents Sea, finally returning to port on March 23, 1989.

Johannessen and Sandven (1989) describe SIZEX in more detail and provide a list of participants in the experiment.

Camp Operations Phase (March 1989 - April 1989)

The oceanography ice camp (O-Camp) and acoustic ice camp (A-Camp) operations were located on the pack ice in the Fram Strait. Most of the studies conducted at O-Camp were related to processes in the upper boundary layer of the ocean. The A-Camp focus was acoustics in the ocean. The O-Camp was active from March 30 until April 24, 1989. The A-Camp operated from March 30 until April 20, 1989.

2.Data Availability

Data Types

The CEAREX CD-ROM contains the following types of data:

Output Media

The CEAREX data set is available from NSIDC User Services as a one volume CD-ROM (Eastern Arctic Ice, Ocean and Atmosphere Data, Volume 1: CEAREX-1, version 1.0, 8/91).

3.Data Access

Data Center Location

National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

Contact Information

NSIDC User Services
National Snow and Ice Data Center
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0449  USA
phone: +1 303.492.6199
fax: +1 303.492.2468
form: Contact NSIDC User Services

Associated Costs

The price for the CEAREX CD-ROM is $50 including shipping and handling. CEAREX-funded investigators are eligible for copies at no cost. Please provide your CEAREX grant number.

4.Principal Investigator Information

The CEAREX data were collected and compiled through the collaborative efforts of many investigators in the earth and polar sciences. Most of the CEAREX investigators and their responsibilities are identified in an Investigator Address List.

5.Submitting Investigator Information

CEAREX investigators who submitted data are identified in the Investigator Address List. For more information, please contact NSIDC User Services.


Johannessen, O. M., and S. Sandven. 1989. SIZEX 89: A Prelaunch ERS-1 Experiment. Experiment Report. Nansen Remote Sensing Center. Technical Report no. 23, 39 p.

R.. S. Pritchard, S. H. Bailey, C. M. Browne, M. D. Coon, D. Hoefke, G. S. Knoke, P. A. Lau, B. J. Taylor, W. D. Hibler, III, M. Hopkins, R. G. Onstott, R. A. Schuchman, S. H. O'Hara, M. G. McPhee, J. C. Van Leer, K. L. Davidson, P. S. Guest, T. B. Curtin, J. E. Overland, D. L. Bell, H. W. Bosworth, D. A. Meese, A. J. Gow, D. K. Perovich, W. B. Tucker, R. Colony, T. C. Grenfell, S. Martin, and J. S. Wettlaufer. 1990. EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 70(40):1115-1118.

A complete list of all references cited on the CEAREX CD-ROM is available.

7.Acronyms and Abbreviations

The following acronyms and abbreviations are used in this document.

URL Uniform Resource Locator
CD-ROM Compact Disc-Read Only Memory
CEAREX Coordinated Eastern Arctic Experiment
CTD Conductivity Temperature Depth
NSIDC National Snow and Ice Data Center
R/V Research Vessel
SIZEX Seasonal Ice Zone Experiment
STD Salinity Temperature Depth
U.S. United States

8.Document Information

Revision Date: January 3, 1995
Review Date: October 13, 1995
Document ID: nsidc-0020
Document Curators: NSIDC Writers
Document URL: