Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Under the Arctic Sea Ice - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

Earth Science Rocks! Select one of our four cool NESTA t-shirts from our online store, and express your love of Earth and space science!

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.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

Windows to the Universe Community



You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The Arctic: Earth's North Polar Region

North of the Arctic Circle (at 66.5N latitude) you will find the Arctic Ocean surrounded by the continents of Europe, Asia, and North America. You will find the geographic North Pole and the magnetic...more

Polar Oceans

There are two oceans in Earth's polar regions. The Arctic Ocean is in the north polar region. The Southern Ocean is in the south polar region. The oceans that are in the polar regions are a bit different...more

Arctic Ocean Currents

The majority of the world's population does not live in the Arctic. But even if you don't live in the Arctic, it is very important to understand how the Arctic Ocean works because it has an impact on surrounding...more

Ocean Gyres

A gyre is another name for a swirling vortex. Ocean gyres are large swirling bodies of water that are often on the scale of a whole ocean basin or 1000s of kilometers across (hundreds to thousands of...more

Exploration of the Poles of the Earth

Polar exploration includes the physical exploration of the Arctic and the Antarctica. The Arctic is the area around the Earth's north pole and includes parts of Canada, Greenland, Russia, the United States...more

Sea Ice in the Arctic and Antarctic

Sea ice is frozen seawater. It can be several meters thick and it moves over time. Although the salts in the seawater do not freeze, pockets of concentrated salty water become trapped in the sea ice when...more

Content for Climate Change Education Courses

Looking for online content that can be used for a climate change education course or module? Pages linked below can be used to support an introductory climate change education for either a unit or a full...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF