One of the longest marine time series in Arctic waters is the Kongsfjorden Rijpfjorden Observatory Program (KROP), established by UiT, UNIS and SAMS. KROP has been monitoring the marine environment in the Atlantic-influenced Kongsfjorden and the Arctic Rijpfjorden for almost 20 years by maintaining an underwater observatory in both fjords. OpKROP will enable us to synthesize and assess the data collected by KROP to document physical changes and biological response in the two contrasting fjords to gain new insights into the drivers and effects of Atlantification on fjord hydrography, community structure, zooplankton behaviour, and vertical flux. We will also conduct new comprehensive surveys of Kongsfjorden using UiTs unmanned surface vehicle. Combining historical data with new observations will result in a detailed understanding of these fjords as it relates to Atlantification. OpKROP will determine if the processes observed in Svalbard fjords are representative of all fjords, the Svalbard region, and the larger Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, OpKROP will to develop sound, reproducible protocols and a detailed data management plan and develop a long-term plan to ensure the continuation of this valuable time series.
The project is led by Malin Daase, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.