2017-2018 Science Planning Summaries
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2017-2018 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Resolving CO2 system seasonality in the West Antarctic Peninsula with autonomous observations

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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Peter Milne

ASC POC/Implementer:
Matthew Erickson / Adam Jenkins

Principal Investigator

Dr. Elizabeth Henderson Shadwick

College of William and Mary
Gloucester Point, Virginia


Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould
Research Locations: Palmer LTER Site 300.100


The circumpolar Southern Ocean connects the major ocean basins. It returns carbon and nutrients to the surface ocean and transports heat and carbon to the ocean interior. Understanding the Southern Ocean response to both natural and human changes is critical to understanding changing global biogeochemical cycles. However, major uncertainties persist in our knowledge of the Southern Ocean carbon budget due in part to unresolved variability at the seasonal scale, and in part to a significant lack of observations in coastal regions. The goal of this project is to increase understanding of coastal Southern Ocean carbon dioxide system variability by delivering new autonomous observations that will allow the full carbon dioxide system seasonality to be resolved. Using a moored observing system to measure pH, carbon dioxide partial pressure, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen on the West Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf, the researchers will characterize diurnal and seasonal variability and identify the dominant physical and biological controls on the seasonal variations in the carbon dioxide system and the net annual air-sea exchange.

Field Season Overview

Two participants will deploy on a fifteen day cruise, using four days of ship time aboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG). One mooring will be recovered in the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (PAL-LTER) grid that was deployed on the LMG17-04. A 24-bottle CTD and rosette system will be used to collect water samples with higher vertical resolution in the upper water column. The samples include dissolved organic carbon/total alkalinity (DIC/TA), inorganic nutrients and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The team will ship the mooring to the home institution for the acquisition of data. This is the final cruise of this project and no additional moorings will be deployed.

Deploying Team Members

  • Maria Arroyo
  • Elizabeth Shadwick (PI)
  • Stephane Thanassekos,