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

Project Title

Biological and physical drivers of O2 saturation and net community production variability at the Western Antarctic Peninsula

Equilibrator Inlet Mass Spectrometer deployed on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould.
Photo by Diane Hutt


Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Jennifer Burns / Dr. Christian Fritsen

ASC POC/Implementer:
Matthew Erickson / Adam Jenkins

Principal Investigator

Dr. Nicolas Cassar

Duke University
Nicholas School of Environment
Durham, North Carolina


Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould
Research Locations: Western Antarctic Peninsula


The project focuses on a high-resolution investigative survey of oxygen/Argon and total oxygen supersaturation along the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) grid to assess physical and biological drivers of the net community production (NCP) and oxygen-saturation variability. The primary goal is to elucidate and parameterize the key biological factors regulating carbon fluxes and NCP. To accomplish this, researchers will combine high-frequency underway NCP estimates by equilibrator inlet mass spectrometry (EIMS) with community characterization by imaging flowcytobot (IFCB) and DNA sequencing. The observations, complemented by a comprehensive suite of measurements made by the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) group, will identify plankton characteristics and mechanisms key to biological carbon fluxes and the fate of primary production.

Field Season Overview

One participant will deploy on two cruises on the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG), LMG18-01 and LMG19-01. Central to the project is the deployment of the EIMS and the IFCB. Both instruments will be plumbed into the LMG's underway seawater line and set up in the Wet Lab and possibly in the Hydro Lab, which will also enable the participant to conduct discrete collections for DNA/RNA analysis. All instrument measurements and discrete collections will occur along the PAL-LTER cruise track. Comprehensive measurements conducted by the USAP and PAL-LTER will include IFCB , flow-through transmissometer, flow cytometry, FIRe fluorometer and del18 oxygen.