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Quasi-weekly, year-round oceanographic and ice measurements at the coastal Western Antarctic Peninsula from 1997 to 2018
GB/NERC/BAS/PDC/01683

Summary

Abstract:
Year-round measurements of the water column in Ryder Bay, Western Antarctic Peninsula have been collected by the Rothera Marine Assistant and associated researchers, starting in 1997 as part of the Rothera Oceanographic and Biological Time Series (RATS) to assess temporal variability in physical and biogeochemical oceanographic properties. The data were collected using instrumentation deployed from rigid inflatable boats, or through instrumentation deployed through holes cut in the sea ice when the bay is frozen over in winter. Data collected include profiles to about 500m depth with a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) system that produces measurements of temperature, salinity, fluorescence and photosynthetically-active radiation (PAR). Individual water samples are collected with a Niskin bottle from a standard 15m depth, with some samples also collected from the surface layer. These individual samples are analysed for size-fractionated chlorophyll, macronutrients (nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, orthophosphate and silicic acid), stable isotopes of oxygen in seawater, and some ancillary parameters. The bottle data have been quality controlled using international reference standards. Profiling and water sample collection occur with quasi-weekly frequency in summer and weekly in winter, but are weather and sea ice dependent. In addition, daily assessments of sea ice concentration and sea ice type are made from nearby Rothera Research Station by visual inspection, to aid interpretation of the ocean data collected. These data constitute one of the longest time series of ocean measurements in Antarctica, with near-unique systematic data collection in winter, within either polar circle.

Data collection has been supported since 1997 by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through core funding supplied to the British Antarctic Survey. Since 2017, it has been supported by NERC award "National Capability - Polar Expertise Supporting UK Research" (NE/R016038/1).

Keywords:
ocean productivity, polar biogeochemistry, polar oceanography, sea ice change, sustained ocean observations

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