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

Project Title

Investigating biogeochemical fluxes and linkages to climate change with multi-scale observations in the Drake Passage

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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Peter Milne

ASC POC/Implementer:
Matthew Erickson / Bruce Felix

Principal Investigator

Dr. Colm Sweeney

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

Project Web Site:
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/pi/CO2/ External Web Site


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


The Southern Ocean plays a key role in modulating the global carbon cycle, but the size and even the sign of the global ocean flux in terms of the atmospheric burden of man-made carbon dioxide is still uncertain. This is in part because of lack of measurements in this remote region of the world ocean. This project continues a multi-year time series of shipboard chemical measurements in the Drake Passage to detect changes in the ocean carbon cycle and to improve the understanding of mechanisms driving natural variability and long-term change in the Southern Ocean.

Field Season Overview

Project participants deploy to one port call each 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

  • Tim Newberger
  • Britton Stephens (Co-PI)
  • Andrew Watt