Collaborative Research: Optical Environmental of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) Region
This project is a contribution to a coordinated attempt to understand the interactions of biological and physical dynamics by developing mechanistic links between the evolution of the antarctic winter ice and snow cover, and biological habitat variability, through modeling the optical properties of the environment. The work will be carried out in the context of the Southern Ocean Experiment of the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics Study (Globec), a large, multi-investigator study of the winter survival strategy of krill under the antarctic sea ice.
The optical properties of snow and sea ice evolve through the winter and vary greatly both spectrally and spatially. These properties are an important element of the physical environment that strongly influences both the distribution of and the resources available to antarctic krill. The intensity of incident radiant energy and its distribution within the snow, ice, and water column environment, and the linked physical, optical, chemical, and biological processes that modulate its distribution are generally known but poorly quantified. The optical properties of snow and ice also influence snow algae, ice algae, and water column productivity, as well as visibility for both predator and prey. Furthermore, optical properties play an essential role in satellite observations as proxy indicators of geophysical sea ice parameters which permit local observations to be more accurately extrapolated in space and time, thus providing regional coverage that would otherwise not be possible. What is proposed is the deployment of an array of instrumented ice beacons, augmented by periodic ship-based and satellite observations, along with theoretical studies to create improved quantitative models with which to follow the temporal and spatial evolution of this snow and ice marine ecosystem.
The specific objective is to develop a thermodynamic sea ice/ecosystem model through coupling of existing components in order to test our understanding of the system, determine its sensitivities, and to provide an organizing mechanism for integrating the Southern Ocean Globec observations.
Data Management Plan
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Platforms and Instruments
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