Standard sections contain some of our longest marine time series, reaching back more than 100 years.
At the beginning of the 20-th century observations started on the Kola Section in the Barents Sea (Knipovich 1906), and by the 1930s, a network of such sections had been developed in the area (Figure 3.2.1). During the last decades, zooplankton has also been sampled at some of these sections. An overview of length, observation frequency and present measured variables for the standard sections in the Barents Sea is given in Table 3.2.1. Specific considerations for the most important sections are given in the following text.Observations on the North Cape-Bear Island section have been conducted since 1929. It crosses the main branch of the North Cape Current. In the 1960s, the section was covered up to 26 times a year. In recent years it has been observed on a quarterly basis.
Monitoring of hydrographic conditions in the section east of the Bear Island (along 74°30’N) has been carried out since 1936. It crosses the Northern branch of the North Cape Current and the cold waters of the Bear Island Current. It is observed 1-2 times a year and shows the thermohaline parameters of the Atlantic waters flowing into the northern Barents Sea.
The Vardø-N section has been monitored in August regularly since 1953, and the observation frequency increased to 4 times per year in 1977. Situated in the central Barents Sea it is the most representative section for the Atlantic branch going into the Hopen Trench, i.e. the central part of the Barents Sea. The northern part of the sections is usually in Arctic water masses. Zooplankton monitoring began in 1994 and monitoring of phytoplankton algae from 2005.
The Kola section is situated partly in the coastal water masses and partly in the Atlantic water masse, and is the section that best represents the Atlantic branch going eastwards parallel to the coastline, i.e. the southern part of the Barents Sea. Some gaps in the time series exist, but in general the section has been taken quite regularly. Time-series of quarterly temperature is available from 1900-present and monthly from 1921-present.
Observations on the Kanin section have been conducted since 1936. It crosses the Kanin Current and the main branch of the Murman Current, as well as the fresher waters of the White Sea Current, which flow into the Barents Sea from the opening of the White Sea. The section is now observed 1-2 times a year.
Observations on the Sem Island section has been conducted intermittently since 1977. In the period 1977-1995 the section was observed regularly 2 times a year. Later it has been observed only a few times, with the latest observation in 2000.
IMR operates a series of fixed stations along the Norwegian coast. However, only one fixed station, Ingøy, is related to the Barents Sea. The Ingøy station is situated in the coastal current along the Norwegian coast. Temperature and salinity is monitored 1-4 times a month. The observations were obtained in two periods, 1936-1944 and 1968-present