2015-2016 USAP Field Season
NOAA / AMLR
Dr. George Watters
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Project Web Site:
Supporting Stations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries' Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) program supports the development of US policy regarding the conservation and management of marine living resources in the Southern Ocean. For the past 25 years, the AMLR field program has been conducted in the vicinity of Elephant Island, the South Shetland Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula during the austral summer. This austral summer, researchers will participate on two cruises aboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG) to continue testing newly developed US AMLR sampling techniques using autonomous technology. The broad-scale survey will be augmented to better understand the small-scale patterns of krill distribution in relation to circulation and to understand habitat use in enclosed bays.
Field Season Overview
Field team members will sail on an austral winter cruise on the NBP from Punta Arenas, Chile, to their research locations in the South Shetland Islands and the Western Antarctic Peninsula. They will use vessel-based sampling equipment and deploy ice-based dynamics. They may also deploy sampling equipment owned by NOAA’s U.S. AMLR. Specific goals include: (1) Conducting a bio-acoustic, oceanographic and net-based krill survey in the vicinity of the South Shetland Islands to map meso-scale features of water mass structure, phytoplankton biomass and productivity, zooplankton and bacterioplankton composition, and the dispersion and population demography of krill during mid-winter; (2) Calibrating shipboard acoustic system during the cruise, possibly in Chilean waters; (3) Collecting continuous measurements of ship's position, sea surface temperature, salinity, turbidity, fluorescence, air temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction; (4) Collect underway observations of seabirds and marine mammals; (5) Collecting data to characterize the sea ice, including thickness, type, color and other qualitative components with the goal of deriving a standardized description of ice during the survey; (6) Deploying drifter buoys (number to be determined); (7) Deploying XBTs or XCTDs during the crossing of the Drake Passage and elsewhere in the survey area; (8) Quantifying sea ice algae community by collecting ice cores at select stations; (9) Measuring water column irradiance using a hand held PRR700; (10) Extending their acoustic, net, and oceanographic study through the Gerlache Strait and down to Andvord Bay; (11) Performing a small scale study in the Bransfield Strait.
Deploying Team Members