ship-based
(proposed)
infrastructure
(proposed)
ship-based
(confirmed)
infrastructure
(confirmed)

ROAM-MIZ

What is the role of fine scale processes in air-sea-ice interactions in the Antarctic Marginal Ice Zone? 

Southern Ocean air‐sea‐ice fluxes impact the ocean heat and carbon budget, water mass transformation, the global overturning circulation, sea‐ice distribution, and numerous biogeochemical processes. Despite this, atmosphere‐ocean physical processes within the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) are poorly understood due to the paucity of in situ observations brought about by its seasonal ice cap and remoteness. 

The Antarctic MIZ campaign will take place in the Weddell Sea during the SWOT fast-repeat sampling phase. Icebreaker expeditions to the Southern Ocean will deploy autonomous vehicles and conduct larger hydrographic surveys (~100km) using ship-board instruments (CTD, radiation, pCO2, eddy-covariance fluxes). The core observational efforts will be placed around a ‘bow-tie’ sampling pattern of gliders profiling continuously to 1 km depth and measuring key properties (currents, temperature, salinity, O2, bio-optics). Each leg of the bow-tie spans ~30 km to capture the lateral gradients and vorticity field at small-scale. Multi-month datasets will resolve the seasonal cycle and variability in mixed layer depth and lateral/vertical property gradients at scales of ~1 km and ~1 hour. Surface vehicles (Saildrones, Sailbuoys) will be remotely-piloted over the ‘bow-tie’ to collect meteorology and surface flux data (pCO2, radiation, momentum) at sub-minute resolution. Robotic platforms sampling at the same place and time as the satellite crossover site (approximately 60S, 0E) provides in situ data to compare to the satellite data and thereby upscale the regional and global impact of submesoscale effects on ocean heat and carbon pathways.

Understanding the role of fine-scales in air-sea-ice interactions will allow for better quantification of heat and carbon fluxes. These data could be useful for the larger scientific community, allowing us to link fine-scale physical information to understand the role of the sea-ice impacted ocean in regulating heat and carbon pathways between the atmosphere and ocean interior. 

Surface currents (left panel) and relative vorticity ( ζ=vxuy) normalized by Coriolis frequency (f) (right panel) for the ROAM-MIZ study site with SWOT grid overlaid (black lines). Images were generated using output from a high-resolution MITgcm simulation and are instantaneous snapshots from 1 July 2012.

Principal investigators: Sebastiaan Swart (sebastiaan.swart@marine.gu.se) (Un. Gothenburg, Sweden)

Contact point for the study site: Sebastiaan Swart (sebastiaan.swart@marine.gu.se)