2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Read the latest information from NSF on coronavirus (COVID-19)
2020-2021 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Southern Ocean Carbon and climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM)

Exploring the silent ocean in Pine Island Bay (cruise NBP20-02 aboard the RV/IB Nathaniel B Palmer, the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration program).
Photo by: Isa Rosso
O-271-N Research Location(s): Weddell and Ross Seas


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 1936222

Program Manager:
Dr. David Porter

ASC POC/Implementer:
David Rivera / Bruce Felix

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Jorge l Sarmiento
Princeton University
Department of Geosciences
Princeton, New Jersey

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations: Weddell and Ross Seas


The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project seeks to increase our understanding of the crucial role of the Southern Ocean in taking up anthropogenic carbon and heat from the atmosphere, and resupplying nutrients from the abyss to the surface. An observational component, based on deployment of profiling floats with oxygen, nitrate, pH and bio-optical sensors, is supplying unprecedented amounts of new biogeochemical data that provide a year-round view of the Southern Ocean from the surface to 2000m, including tracking ocean acidification, de-oxygenation, and warming processes. A modeling effort is applying these observations and enhancing our understanding of the current Southern Ocean, and reducing uncertainty in projections of future carbon and nutrient cycles and climate.

Field Season Overview

The SOCCOM project will deploy biogeochemical (BGC) profiling floats on two scheduled USAP science expeditions in the Weddell and Ross Seas and also several transits as underway science from the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP). No personnel from the program will participate in USAP fieldwork this coming season. The SOCCOM program is currently collaborating with scientists already scheduled to participate on both expeditions and will receive logistical and operational support from the science teams and USAP shipboard personnel. CTD casts will accompany float deployments when possible on the science expeditions.