Impact of Convective Processes and Sea Ice Formation on the Distribution of Iron in the Ross Sea: Closing the Seasonal Cycle
The waters of the Ross Sea continental shelf are among the most productive in the Southern Ocean, and may comprise a significant regional oceanic sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. In this region, primary production can be limited by the supply of dissolved iron to surface waters during the growing season. Water-column observations, sampling and measurements are to be carried out in the late autumn-early winter time frame on the Ross Sea continental shelf and coastal polynyas (Terra Nova Bay and Ross Ice Shelf polynyas), in order to better understand what drives the biogeochemical redistribution of micronutrient iron species during the onset of convective mixing and sea-ice formation at this time of year, thereby setting conditions for primary production during the following spring. The spectacular field setting and remote, hostile conditions that accompany the proposed field study present exciting possibilities for STEM education and training. At the K-12 level, the project seeks to support the development of educational outreach materials targeting elementary and middle school students, pre-service science teachers, and in-service science teachers.
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