2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Investigating biogeochemical fluxes and linkages to climate change with multi-scale observations in the Drake Passage

Program Manager:
Dr. Peter Milne


ASC POC/Implementer:
Addie Coyac / Robert Kluckhohn

Dr. Colm Sweeney (Principal Investigator)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Global Monitoring Division (GMD)
Boulder, Colorado

Supporting Stations:  ARSV Laurence M. Gould
Research Locations:  Drake Passage

Project Description:
The Southern Ocean plays an important role in the global carbon cycle and yet the timing, magnitude, and trends of key biogeochemical fluxes in this region remain poorly known due in large part to a lack of surface-ocean data. The overarching goal of this project is to collect and analyze observations that resolve variability of both oceanic and atmospheric biogeochemical tracers over a range of spatial and temporal scales and, secondarily, to improve the understanding of mechanisms driving natural variability and long-term change in the Southern Ocean. This project is an extension of the continuous underway surface ocean partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2), dissolved oxygen and high precision atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen measurements that are currently operational on the ARSV Laurence M Gould (LMG). This also includes the extension of the discrete surface ocean sampling for nutrients and total carbon dioxide (TCO2). The extension of both physical and biogeochemical observations will ensure the continuity of the most complete, longest-running and densely sampled time series in the Southern Ocean.

Field Season Overview:
Project participants deploy to one or two port calls per year to maintain and upgrade equipment. Onboard support staffers and technicians monitor the equipment, turn it on and off to avoid data collection in other nations’ Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), and perform maintenance as needed. During Janet Sprintall’s O-260 Drake Passage transects, contract technicians collect water samples for this project. At the end of each cruise the data is distributed to the project PIs and collaborators as well as the onboard science parties.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Jonathan Bent
  • Britton Stephens (Co-PI)
  • Andrew Watt

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Office of Polar Programs