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

Project Title

High-resolution underway air-sea observations in Drake Passage for climate science

 Photo by Bettina Sohst. Image courtesy of NSF/USAP Photo Library. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
O-260-L Research Location(s): Drake Passage


Event Number:
NSF / OPP Award 2001646

Program Manager:
Dr. David Sutherland

ASC POC/Implementer:
David Rivera / Bruce Felix

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. Janet Sprintall
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Physical Oceanography Research Division

Project Web Site:


Supporting Stations: ARSV Laurence M. Gould
Research Locations: Drake Passage


In collaboration with Chereskin (O-317-L), this project continues a long-term study of ocean properties and variability in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) by repeat transects across the Drake Passage from Punta Arenas, Chile to Palmer Station. This aspect of the project measures the seasonal to interannual variability of upper-ocean temperature and geostrophic transport through the Drake Passage with closely spaced eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT) deployments.

Field Season Overview

Underway XBT measurements are requested on six (6) ARSV Laurence M. Gould (LMG) cruises during the FY2022-2023 season. Approximately 70 XBTs are dropped per crossing. The LMG personnel and volunteers hand-launch the XBTs at predetermined locations that are provided to the LMG. To undertake the XBT sampling, we request the support from 1-2 Antarctic Support Contract (ASC) personnel for system set-up and loading the XBT probes in the launcher. XBT log sheets should note bottom depth when the ocean depth is less than 800m, and also note probe success or failures. All data and log sheets are to be archived, and we also request TSG, meteorological, and navigation data from each cruise.