Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Moss Landing, California
Dates in Antarctica: Early March to mid-April
Supporting Stations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations: North Weddell Sea, South Orkney Islands
As drifting islands, icebergs impart unique physical, chemical, and biological characteristics to the surrounding water. The dimensions of this iceberg “sphere of influence” are related to the size and physical configuration of the iceberg. However, the precise impacts of icebergs on natural fertilization, organic carbon export, and the Antarctic pelagic community are not well understood. This project will attempt to determine 1) the physical dynamics of drifting icebergs; 2) the relationship between physical dynamics and the iron and nutrient distributions of the surrounding water; 3) the relationship between iron and nutrient distributions and the organic carbon production of ice-attached and surrounding pelagic communities; 4) the relationship between this organic carbon production and the export flux of particulate organic carbon from the surrounding mixed layer; and 5) the combined impact of all drifting icebergs on the enrichment, carbon production, and mixed-layer particulate export in the Weddell Sea.
The science party will embark on RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer with 25 participants to measure the sphere of influence of both large and small icebergs in the north Weddell Sea and east of the South Orkney Islands. Each iceberg will be digitally imaged using shipboard acoustics, radar, and sonar, to estimate the aerial extent, submerged area and contours. The under-surface will then be surveyed acoustically and optically with a Remotely Operated Vehicle. The aerial and pelagic zones radiating out from the iceberg will be surveyed and sampled with ship-borne instruments in a spiral configuration.
Deploying Team Members: