Project Information
Collaborative Research: Dynamics and Transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in Drake Passage
The proposed work is a multi-year study of the transport of water through Drake Passage by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Drake Passage acts as a chokepoint that is not only well suited geographically for measuring the time-varying transport, but observations and computer models suggest that dynamical balances which control the transport are particularly effective here. An array of Current Meters and Pressure-recording Inverted Echo Sounders (CPIES) will be set out for a period of 4 years to quantify the transport and dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Data will be collected annually by acoustic telemetry, leaving the instruments undisturbed until recovered at the end of the project.

The Southern Ocean is believed to be especially sensitive to climate change, responding to winds that have increased over the past thirty years, and warming significantly more than the global ocean over the past fifty years. The proposed observations will resolve the seasonal and interannual variability of the total ACC transport, as well as its vertical and lateral structure. Although not submitted specifically to the International Polar Year (IPY) Program Solicitation, the proposed project contributes to the IPY goal of understanding environmental change in polar regions and represents a pulse of activity in the IPY time frame that will extend the legacy of the IPY. The data and findings will be reported to publicly accessible archives and submitted for publication in the scientific literature. It is a scientific collaboration between the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Rhode Island.
Person Role
Chereskin, Teresa Investigator
Donohue, Kathleen Investigator
Watts, D. Co-Investigator
Tracey, Karen Co-Investigator
Kennelly, Maureen Co-Investigator
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 0636493
Antarctic Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Award # 0635437
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Deployment Type
NBP0710 ship expedition
NBP1004 ship expedition
NBP1107 ship expedition
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
Not provided
Repository Title (link) Format(s) Status
R2R Expedition Data None exist
R2R Expedition Data None exist
R2R Expedition Data None exist
R2R Expedition Data None exist
R2R Expedition Data None exist
  1. Donohue, K. A., Tracey, K. L., Watts, D. R., Chidichimo, M. P., & Chereskin, T. K. (2016). Mean Antarctic Circumpolar Current transport measured in Drake Passage. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(22). (doi:10.1002/2016gl070319)

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