Dataset Information
Monthly Stratification Climatology (1978-2021) in Antarctic Coastal Polynyas
Data DOI:
Cite as
Li, Y., Shunk, N., & Zhang, W. (2023) "Monthly Stratification Climatology (1978-2021) in Antarctic Coastal Polynyas" U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) Data Center. doi:
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Coastal Antarctic polynyas are regions with concentrated phytoplankton blooms, and therefore have important implications for marine ecosystems and the associated carbon cycles. Seasonal water-column stratification, regulated by sea ice, can modulate the exposure of phytoplankton to light and nutrients, and is one of the most important factors that control the duration and strength of algal blooms. Polynyas differ greatly in their stratification, thus are not equally productive in terms of phytoplankton biomass, nor equally vulnerable to the changes in regional climate. To date, most studies have been focusing on individual polynyas, yet a systematic assessment of stratification patterns across polynyas is still lacking. Therefore, we examined the spatial and seasonal variability of stratification in circum-Antarctic coastal polynyas. Using >105 in situ hydrographic casts combined from the World Ocean Database (1970-2021) and the Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole Consortium Database (2004-2017), we constructed stratification seasonal climatology using 0-100 m Simpson Energy. Our results showed that stratification magnitude varies by a factor of 6 and its onset time displays 1-2 months difference across all the polynyas. In the presence of warmer water at depths, polynyas tend to develop stronger stratification than others. The spatial variations of stratification are negatively related to sea ice retreat rate and polynya size, indicative of distinct dynamics resulted from the interaction of sea ice melting, advection and water-column mixing.
Li, Yun; Shunk, Nathan; Zhang, Weifeng
Date Created:
USAP-DC (current)
Spatial Extent(s)
West: -180, East: 180, South: -78, North: -60
Temporal Extent(s)
Start: 1978-01-01 - End: 2021-12-31
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This dataset has been downloaded 1 time since March 2017 (based on unique date-IP combinations)