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
Noble gases in the Drake Passage aboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould

Program Manager:
Dr. Peter Milne


ASC POC/Implementer:
Addie Coyac / Bob Kluckhohn

Dr. Steven R Emerson (Principal Investigator)

University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

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

Project Description:
This project aims to gain a clearer understanding of the processes that control the marine dissolved inorganic nitrogen budget (nitrate + nitrite + ammonium), which impacts the global carbon cycle as nitrate is a limiting nutrient for net biological export from the euphotic zone. Researchers will use dissolved N2/Ar as a tracer of the marine nitrogen cycle. An increase in N2/Ar with depth and water age (previous measurements) is some combination of 'preformed' value captured during subduction and subsequent denitrification. The goal of this research is to identify the physical and biological contributions to the 'background' N2/Ar ratio increase by measuring N2/Ar and other inert gas and isotope ratios (primarily Ne/Ar and Kr/Ar) in strategic locations along the flow of the deep waters of the world's ocean.

Field Season Overview:
One participant will sail onboard LMG12-12 to sample the water column in the Drake Passage using the ships rosette and CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth sensors). During the cruise, four CTD casts to full depth (two in each direction of the crossing) will be conducted, Precise temperature, salinity, and oxygen data are required for the analysis. The participant will perform Winkler oxygen titrations.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Kevin Tempest

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