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Linkages between oceanography and the plankton foodweb at Fylla Bank and into Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjord) Published 22.03.2010

With support from the Danish Center for Marin Research (DCH), a range of projects under the Greenland Climate Research Centre will carry out a comprehensive field investigation using the Danish research vessel Dana. The planned cruise, led by professor Torkel Gissel Nielsen from DTU Aqua will take place from 6 to 23 June 2010 in key areas close to Nuuk, and focus will be on the influence of temperature and salinity on Arctic/Sub-Arctic organisms and plankton ecosystems.

An international group of scientists from DTU, GINR, DMI, AU and European and American research institutions is to carry out the research. The major aim of the cruise is to investigate the linkage between water masses and the plankton food web at Fylla Bank and into Godthåbsfjord to the outflow of the glaciers from the Icecap at the bottom of the fjord (see figure). Four areas are selected for specific intensive research (blue circles).

·         Fylla Bank, where oceanic fronts have great impact on the growth of fish larvae and the composition and production of plankton organisms.

·         The outflow of the Godthåbsfjord where coastal currents meet outflowing water from the fjord, leading to mixing processes and enhanced production.

·         The inner, strongly stratified, part of the Godthåbsfjord which is influenced by the outflow of freshwater from the Icecap, and where daily migration of krill is of great importance for the vertical flux of organic matter.

·         The Kapisillit fjord, where focus will be on cod larvae and the plankton food chain which supports the local fjord population of cod.

The results will lead to further insight into the influence of physics on different marine ecosystems, and will supply new knowledge and data which can be used in continued modelling of influences from climate change. Additionally, they will establish a basis for further investigations related to the climatic influence on the composition and function of Arctic/Sub-Arctic ecosystems.

The four focus areas (marked with blue circles). The Fylla Bank of Nuuk, The mouth of Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjord), the inner part of the fjord close to the icecap and the Kapisillit fjord.

The cruise will be conducted from the research vessel Dana. Photo: Søren Rysgaard.