Project Information
NSFGEO-NERC: Collaborative Research: Accelerating Thwaites Ecosystem Impacts for the Southern Ocean (ARTEMIS)
Short Title:
Start Date:
End Date:
Thwaites (ITGC)
The Amundsen Sea hosts the most productive polynya in all of Antarctica, with its vibrant green waters visible from space, and an atmospheric CO2 uptake density 10x higher than the Southern Ocean average. The region is vulnerable to climate change, experiencing rapid losses in sea ice, a changing icescape, and some of the fastest melting glaciers flowing from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). ARTEMIS aims to characterize the climate-sensitive nature of glacial meltwater-driven micronutrient (iron, Fe) contributions driving ecosystem productivity and CO2 uptake in the coastal Antarctic. We propose to integrate observations and ocean modeling of these processes to enhance predictive capabilities. Currently, basal melt resulting from warm deep waters penetrating ice shelf cavities dominates mass losses of WAIS, contributing to sea level rise. These physical melting processes are being studied by the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC). The impact of melting on the marine ecosystem has also been explored, and we know that productivity is due in part to Fe-rich, glacial meltwater-driven outflow. The biogeochemical composition of the outflow from the glaciers surrounding the Amundsen Sea is largely unstudied, however. Improved knowledge would provide keys to understanding meltwater's future impact on the ecosystem. An ongoing field program (TARSAN, part of the ITGC) offers the ideal physical oceanographic framework for our biogeochemical effort. We propose here to collaborate with TARSAN-supported UK scientists, providing value added to both team efforts. ARTEMIS will add shipboard measurements (trace metals, carbonate system, nutrients, organic matter, microorganisms) and biogeochemical sensors on autonomous vehicles to gather critical knowledge needed to understand the impact of the melting WAIS on both the coastal ecosystem and the regional carbon (C) cycle. Driving questions include: 1) what are the fluxes and chemical forms of Fe, C, and microorganisms in the ice shelf outflow? 2) what are the relative contributions to the ouflow from deep water, benthic, and glacial melt sources, and how do these inputs combine to affect the bioavailability of Fe? 3) How are Fe and C compounds modified as the outflow advects along the coastal current and mixes into the bloom region? and 4) what will be the effect of increased glacial melting, changes in the coastal icescape, and declining sea ice on theecosystem of the Amundsen Sea? Such questions fall outside the focus of the ITGC, but are of keen interest to Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems and Antarctic Integrated System Science programs.
Person Role
Yager, Patricia Investigator and contact
Medeiros, Patricia Co-Investigator
Sherrell, Robert Co-Investigator
St-Laurent, Pierre Co-Investigator
Fitzsimmons, Jessica Co-Investigator
Stammerjohn, Sharon Co-Investigator
Oliver, Hilde Researcher
Herbert, Lisa Researcher
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1941483
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1941327
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1941308
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1941304
Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems Award # 1941292
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Deployment Type
NB Palmer ship expedition
Data Management Plan
Product Level:
0 (raw data)
  1. Jacob, B., Queste, B. Y., & du Plessis, M. D. (2024). Turbulent heat flux dynamics along the Dotson and Getz ice-shelf fronts (Amundsen Sea, Antarctica). (doi:10.5194/egusphere-2024-2076)
Platforms and Instruments

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