Marginal Ice Zone Experiment
MIZEX East 1984

This was a multi-national project that actually began in the summer of 1983.  It was the most extensive research project ever undertaken to study the ice, water and air conditions in the arctic sea between Svalbard and Greenland.  The project which eventually had over 100 researchers, was headed by Norwegian Oceanographer Ola M. Johannessen.

The drift ice that forms between Greenland and Svalbard, which forms an almost continuous sheet, had been a mystery for many years and always presented  challenges to Arctic researchers.  They sought to seek the infulence of the huge air masses on the weather systems of the Northern hemisphere.

MIZEX gained the scientists valuable information on the way ice is affected by winds, current, waves and movement.  Tests were done on the thickness and toughness of the ice, as well as experiments to show what happens when the drift ice comes up against the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

On its first year of the expedition, it was predicted to spend nearly $4 million (U.S.), an amount which was to be expanded to $8 million by 1984.  Ice measurements were to be taken up until 1990, where in the latter stages of the project, satellite photographs were to be taken of the ice pack.  While the project was ongoing, four remote-analysis aircraft measured the movements of the ice in specific areas; transmitting the data to the telemetry station at Troms, which transmitted the data back to the researchers on the ice.

Over the years there were a considerable number of cachets and ship markings applied to collector's envelopes for the MIZEX project; here are a few of mine.

This cover received no "Paquebot" markings, strangely enough, but it went through just like this...

Corner card of the Captain of the R/V Polar Queen and from a scientist with MIZEX Logistics in Longyearbyen.

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