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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.

Under the Arctic Sea Ice

In 2005, thirty-five scientists spent a month in the Arctic Ocean studying the little-known marine life that exists within and below the sea ice and on the seafloor. During their voyage, scientists found amazing species, some of which had never been described.

As part of their studies, specially trained scuba divers, called ice divers, collected incredible photographs and video that show what it is like to be under the Arctic sea ice. Take a look at some of their photos below!

Ice divers Katrin Iken (left) and Elizabeth Calvert (right) get into the chilly waters of the Arctic Ocean. The icebreaker, a US Coast Guard Cutter, that got them out to this location is in the background. Do you see the ice behind the divers?

This diver is holding an underwater camera. The sea ice is above the divers head. Do you see the bubbles? This is the air that the divers has exhaled.

Sea ice moves on the ocean surface. These pieces of sea ice have pushed together, forming a pressure ridge. Below the pressure ridge, there is a somewhat protected habitat for marine life.
These arctic cod are living under the sea ice. Arctic cod prefer temperatures around freezing or just above freezing. Arctic cod are a very important part of the diet of Arctic marine mammals, birds and other fish.
Here's an amphipod, a small shrimp-like animal that lives on the underside of the sea ice.
Images courtesy of NOAA Hidden Ocean Expedition
Last modified January 8, 2007 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

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