2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
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2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

The O2/N2 ratio and CO2 airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) study

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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Peter Milne

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Adam Jenkins

Principal Investigator

Dr. Britton B Stephens

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, UCAR/NCAR
Boulder, Colorado

Project Web Site:
http://www.eol.ucar.edu/field_projects/orcas External Web Site


Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould, Palmer Station
Research Locations: Antarctic Peninsula


The O2/N2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) study will be achieved through intensive airborne surveys of atmospheric oxygen, carbon dioxide, related gases, and ocean surface properties over diverse biogeochemical regions adjacent to the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. The NSF/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Gulfstream V aircraft with a suite of high-precision in-situ and remote-sensing instruments will perform 14 flights over a period of six weeks in austral mid-summer. The primary research objective is to characterize summertime variations in atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide over the Southern Ocean adjacent to South America and the Antarctic Peninsula at a range of time and space scales. Hyperspectral remote sensing of the ocean surface and characterization of the emissions of biogenic reactive gases over the Southern Ocean will also be accomplished using on-board instruments.

Field Season Overview

This research continues a three year project of atmospheric O2 and CO2 measurements in the Drake Passage from the LMG. They are conducted on every cruise as “underway science” by semi-automated underway systems that require minimal intervention from staff technicians. Data is returned by daily email and by mailing a USB pen drive at the end of each cruise.