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EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > MARINE SEDIMENTS > SEDIMENTATION

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  • Oceanographic processes in the subantarctic region contribute crucially to the physical and biogeochemical aspects of the global climate system. To explore and quantify these contributions, the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) organised the SAZ Project, a multidisciplinary, multiship investigation carried out south of Australia in the austral summer of 1997-1998. Taken from the abstracts of the referenced papers: The SAZ project organised by the Antarctic CRC has a continuing program of moored sinking particle trap studies in the Aub-Antarctic and Polar Frontal zones southwest of Tasmania along 140 degrees E. The first deployment obtained weekly or higher resolution samples through the austral summer from September 1997 through February 1998 at three locations: the central Sub-Antarctic Zone (47 degrees S, traps at 1000, 2000 and 3800 m depth), the Sub-Antarctic Front (51 degrees S, 1 trap at 3300 m) and above the Southeast Indian Ridge in the Polar Frontal Zone (54 degrees S, 2 traps at 800 and 1500 m). The particles were analysed for total mass, inorganic carbon, total carbon, nitrogen, silicon, and aluminium. Hence values for organic carbon, biogenic silica, and lithogenics were obtained, and the mass fluxes calculated. This report details the sites, moorings, data from the current meters and sediment traps, and results of analyses performed on the collected sediment trap material. Sediment trap moorings were deployed from September 21, 1997 through February 21, 1998 at three locations south of Australia along 140 degrees E: at -47 degrees S in the central Subantarctic Zone (SAZ) with traps at 1060, 2050, and 3850 m depth, at-51 degrees S in the Subantarctic Front with one trap at 3080m, and at -54 degrees S in the Polar Front Zone(PFZ) with traps at 830 and 1580m. Particle fluxes were high at all the sites (18-32gm-2 yr-1 total mass and 0.5-1.4g organic carbon m-2 yr-1 at ~1000m, assuming minimal flux outside the sampled summer period). These values are similar to other Southern Ocean results and to the median estimated for the global ocean by Lampitt and Antia [1997], and emphasise that the Southern Ocean exports considerable carbon to the deep sea despite its "high-nutrient, low chlorophyll" characteristics. The SAZ site was dominated by carbonate (greater than 50% of total mass) and the PFZ site by biogenic silica (greater than 50% of total mass). Both sites exhibited high export in spring and late summer, with an intervening low flux period in December. For the 153 day collection period, particulate organic carbon export was somewhat higher in all the traps in the SAZ (range 0.57-0.84 gC m -L) than in the PFZ (range 0.31-0.53), with an intermediate value observed at the SAF (0.60). The fraction of surface organic carbon export (estimated from seasonal nutrient depletion, Lourey and Trull [2001]) reaching 1000 m was indistinguishable in the SAZ and PFZ, despite different algal communities.

  • Please also see the child records of this project for access to data. Attached to this record are the originally supplied datasets for 1997-1998, and also summary files and mooring diagrams supplied in 2012. Taken from the 2008-2009 Progress Report: Progress against objectives: The key to advancing the objective of understanding ocean processes controlling uptake of atmospheric CO2 is the ability to deploy moored autonomous samplers and sensors in Southern Ocean surface waters capable of quantifying seasonal cycles in biological and biogeochemical processes. Our effort in the last 12 months has focused on development of a robust mooring platform to carry these devices. We deployed two different engineering test designs, known as Pulse 5 Heavy and Pulse 5 Light. Both designs survived 6 months in the sea, including wave heights up to 12 meters, while transmitting mooring tensions, mooring accelerations, and GPS positions live to the internet (www.imos.org.au). Following this success we are preparing to deploy the next version of Pulse with scientific instruments to measure temperature, salinity, oxygen, and phytoplankton fluorescence. In addition we deployed a deep ocean mooring with time-series sediment traps to quantify sinking particle fluxes, and in-situ settling columns to determine particle sinking rates. Taken from the 2009/2010 Progress Report: Progress against objectives: Two voyages were awarded by the Australian Marine National Facility to use RV Southern Surveyor to service these Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) moorings in the 2009/10 season, and for this reason the shiptime awarded to this project by AAS was not needed and was relinquished. This arrangement will continue in 2010/11 for which the MNF has again awarded two voyages in September 2010 and April 2011. The fieldwork in 2009/10 was very successful: i) the SAZ deep sediment trap mooring was recovered in September 2009 and redeployed for recovery in September 2010. ii) the PULSE biogeochemistry mooring was deployed in September 2009 and functioned beautifully prior to recovery in March 2010 for servicing. It will be redeployed in September 2010. iii) the SOFS Southern Ocean Flux Station mooring was completed and deployed in March 2010 for recovery in April 2011, and redeployment in September 2011.

  • Data repository for the paper: "The roles of sea-ice, light and sedimentation in structuring shallow Antarctic benthic communities" Graeme F. Clark, Jonathan S. Stark, Anne S. Palmer, Martin J. Riddle, Emma L. Johnston. PLoS ONE Data are boulder communities (epifauna), annual light budgets, and sediment traps. See the paper for more details. ABSTRACT On polar coasts, seasonal sea-ice duration strongly influences shallow marine environments by affecting environmental conditions, such as light, sedimentation, and physical disturbance. Sea-ice dynamics are changing in response to climate, but there is limited understanding of how this might affect shallow marine environments and benthos. Here we present a unique set of physical and biological data from a single region of Antarctic coast, and use it to gain insights into factors shaping polar benthic communities. At sites encompassing a gradient of sea-ice duration, we measured temporal and spatial variation in light and sedimentation and hard-substrate communities at different depths and substrate orientations. Biological trends were highly correlated with sea-ice duration, and appear to be driven by opposing gradients in light and sedimentation. As sea-ice duration decreased, there was increased light and reduced sedimentation, and concurrent shifts in community structure from invertebrate to algal dominance. Trends were strongest on shallower, horizontal surfaces, which are most exposed to light and sedimentation. Depth and substrate orientation appear to mediate exposure of benthos to these factors, thereby tempering effects of sea-ice and increasing biological heterogeneity. However, while light and sedimentation both varied spatially with sea-ice, their dynamics differed temporally. Light was sensitive to the site-specific date of sea-ice breakout, whereas sedimentation fluctuated at a regional scale coincident with the summer phytoplankton bloom. Sea-ice duration is clearly the overarching force structuring these shallow Antarctic benthic communities, but direct effects are imposed via light and sedimentation, and mediated by habitat characteristics. Data files: Boulder_community_data.csv - Percentage cover data for sessile organisms (invertebrates and algae) growing on boulder surfaces. - Columns 1 to 5 are sample attributes, columns 6 to 57 are measured variables (species or bare space). Light_budget_data.csv - Annual light budgets at each site, recorded by light metres. - Columns are site name and annual light budget (mol photons m-2 year-1) Sediment_trap_data.csv - Total sediment collected in sediment traps - Columns are site label, position in bay, replicate, dates deployed and retrieved, and the calculated sediment flux (g m-2 d-1)

  • Particulates in the water were concentrated onto 25mm glass fibre filters. Light transmission and reflection through the filters was measured using a spectrophotometer to yield spectral absorption coefficients. Data Acquisition: Water samples were taken from Niskin bottles mounted on the CTD rosette. Two or three depths were selected at each station, using the CTD fluorometer profile to identify the depth of maximum fluorescence and below the fluorescence maximum. One sample was always taken at 10m, provided water was available, as a reference depth for comparisons with satellite data (remote sensing international standard). Water sampling was carried out after other groups, leading to a considerable time delay of between half an hour and 3 hours, during which particulates are likely to have sedimented within the Niskin bottle, and algae photoadapted to the dark. In order to minimise problems of sedimentation, as large a sample as practical was taken. Often so little water remained in the Niskin bottle that the entire remnant was taken. Where less than one litre remained, leftover sample water was taken from the HPLC group. Water samples were filtered through 25mm diameter GF/F filters under a low vacuum (less than 5mmHg), in the dark. Filters were stored in tissue capsules in liquid nitrogen and transported to the lab for analysis after the cruise. Three water samples were filtered through GF/F filters under gravity, with 2 30ml pre-rinses to remove organic substances from the filter, and brought to the laboratory for further filtration through 0.2micron membrane filters. Filters were analysed in batches of 3 to 7, with all depths at each station being analysed within the same batch to ensure comparability. Filters were removed one batch at a time and place on ice in the dark. Once defrosted, the filters were placed upon a drop of filtered seawater in a clean petri dish and returned to cold, dark conditions. One by one, the filters were placed on a clean glass plate and scanned from 200 to 900nm in a spectrophotometer equipped with an integrating sphere. A fresh baseline was taken with each new batch using 2 blank filters from the same batch as the sample filters, soaked in filtered seawater. After scanning, the filters were placed on a filtration manifold, soaked in methanol for between 1 and 2 hours to extract pigments, and rinsed with filtered seawater. They were then scanned again against blanks soaked in methanol and rinsed in filtered seawater. Data Processing: The initial scan of total particulate matter, ap, and the second scan of non-pigmented particles, anp, were corrected for baseline wandering by setting the near-infrared absorption to zero. This technique requires correction for enhanced scattering within the filter, which has been reported to vary with species. One dilution series was carried out at station 118 to allow calculation of the correction (beta-factor). Since it is debatable whether this factor will be applicable to all samples, no correction has been applied to the dataset. Potential users should contact JSchwarz for advice on this matter when using the data quantitatively. Not yet complete: Comparison of the beta-factor calculated for station 118 with the literature values. Comparison of phytoplankton populations from station 118 with those found at other stations to evaluate the applicability of the beta-factor. Dataset Format: Two files: phyto_absorp_brokew.txt and phyto_absorp_brokew_2.txt: covering stations 4 to 90 and 91 to 118, respectively. Note that not every station was sampled. File format: Matlab-readable ascii text with 3 'header' lines: Row 1: col.1=-999, col.2 to end = ctd number Row 2: col.1=-999, col.2 to end = sample depth in metres Row 3: col.1=-999, col.2 to end = 1 for total absorption by particulates, 2 for absorption by non-pigmented particles Row 4 to end: col.1=wavelength in nanometres, col.2 to end = absorption coefficient corresponding to station, depth and type given in rows 1 to 3 of the same column. This work was completed as part of ASAC projects 2655 and 2679 (ASAC_2655, ASAC_2679).

  • AM03 borehole drilled December 2005. Consult Readme file for detail of data files and formats. 2011-2012 data may be final data from the unit owing to battery failure. The original project for this dataset was ASAC 1164, but recent data fall under the auspices of project AAS 4096.

  • AM06 borehole drilled January 2010. Profiling measurements conducted to test borehole diameter integrity.

  • AM04 borehole drilled January 2006. Profiling measurements conducted to test borehole diameter integrity.

  • AM04 borehole drilled January 2006. Annual data retrieved for 2006, and 2007. Consult Readme file for detail of data files and formats. New data for 2011 was added in November of 2011.

  • AM05 borehole drilled December 2009. Profiling measurements conducted to test borehole diameter integrity.

  • AM01 borehole drilled January 2002. AM01b borehole drilled mid-December 2003. No new thermistor strings deployed. Consult Readme file for detail of data files and formats. 2011-2012 data may be final data from the unit owing to battery failure. The original project for this dataset was ASAC 1164, but recent data fall under the auspices of project AAS 4096.