2022-2023 Science Planning Summary
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2022-2023 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Southern Ocean Carbon and climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM)

Photo by Peter Rejcek. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library.
O-271-N Research Location(s): Southern Ocean


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 1936222

Program Director:
Dr. David Porter

ASC POC/Implementer:
David Rivera / Bruce Felix

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Jorge l Sarmiento
Princeton University
Department of Geosciences

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations: Southern Ocean


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. Collaborators are integrating these observations with high resolution ocean models to enhance our understanding of the state of the Southern Ocean and reducing uncertainty in projections of future carbon and nutrient cycles and climate.

Field Season Overview

Two participants will join the RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP). The SOCCOM project will deploy biogeochemical (BGC) profiling floats on scheduled USAP vessel expeditions and transits as underway science. Instrumentation includes CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth) deployment with 12 to 24 place rosette, with participant-supplied FLBB sensor, to at least 2000 m depth and preferably deeper. Water samples from the rosette will be taken for discrete nutrients, pH, POC, HPLC and alkalinity sampling and be handled by the personnel aboard, to be shipped to Scripps Institution of Oceanography following the expedition for analysis. Discrete oxygen and salinity samples might be drawn and processed on the ship but funding is not being requested for such measurements. Shared laboratory space will be allocated for the HPLC/POC filtrations, nutrient and pH/alkalinity sample preservation, and oxygen and salinity analyses if carried out.

Deploying Team Members

  • Josephine Adams
  • Robert Freiberger