Monday, September 29, 2014

The Floats have arrived to Argentina

The expedition will give the opportunity to lead an oceanographic campaign in this region. The region is dominated by the Antarctic circumpolar current (ACC), which goes around Antarctica. The ACC is very important is the thermohaline circulation, which is itself a part of the large scale ocean circulation. Understanding more precisely the dynamic of the ACC would allow us to have a better idea of the long term changes occurring in the oceans due to global warming. During this campaign several scientific goals will be lead:

  1. To obtain a more accurate sampling of the region of studies: 3 Argo floats will be put at sea north from Elephant Island and off the coast of the Sandwich Islands. These floats are autonomous once in the water and will drift in deep sea. They will produce a vertical profil of both temperature and salinity of the ocean every 2 days (usual floats do it every 10 days). Moreover, one of the floats will be a Provbio float. This special one has optical sensors to measure the quantity of oxygen dissolved in water as well as other biogeochemical factor.
  2. To obtain a sampling of atmospheric dust: Samples of atmospheric dusts will be made by taking snow in the different places we will explore. Lichens will be removed for analysis as well. These data will allow us to calculate the flow of micronutrients falling the ocean and determinate their possible impact on the primary productivity and therefore the efficiency of this ocean to make carbon dioxyde disappear from the atmosphere.