Glider deployments made during SOSCEx in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Upcoming, simultaneous Seaglider and Wave Glider deployments and transects are indicated on the map.

Glider deployments made during SOSCEx in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Upcoming, simultaneous Seaglider and Wave Glider deployments and transects are indicated on the map.

South Africa’s ocean gliders are already making unprecedented impact on the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory’s (SOCCO) research by providing extended time series of physical and biogeochemical observations in the heart of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.

Their previous long term mission, the Southern Ocean Seasonal Cycle Experiment (SOSCEx, Swart et al., 2012) was conducted between September 2012 and March 2013, when five state-of-the-art autonomous Seagliders were deployed in the Southern Ocean from aboard South Africa’s newest polar ship, the SA Agulhas II. The gliders observed the SAZ region of the SE Atlantic-Southern Ocean for six months, while being carefully navigated remotely via satellite communications by glider pilots back on dry land in Cape Town. By the end of the experiment the gliders had managed to complete over 5000 profiles of the water column between the surface and 1 km depth, while covering a total horizontal distance of 7000 km – equivalent to the distance between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro.
SOCCO recently acquired a newer form of ocean robot, the wave glider, which is a wave powered surface platform measuring surface fluxes, in this case CO2 and O2, between the ocean and the atmosphere. As a follow on to the SOSCEx experiment and in collaboration with NOAA-PMEL, in the USA, a wave glider and a Seaglider will be simultaneously deployed in the Subantarctic Zone in early September 2013. The two types of gliders will then be piloted and kept together to follow the GoodHope monitoring line southwards towards the Antarctic, while observing both the physical dynamics and biogeochemical parameters in the subsurface ocean while also acquiring CO and O2 gas flux measurements on the surface ocean. By early December 2013, a second set of deployments will see another tandem deployment of gliders in the marginal sea ice region of the northern Weddell Sea. The combined measurements made by the two types of gliders provide a unique view of the ocean-atmosphere state over the austral spring-summer-autumn seasonal cycle, providing valuable data that allows for novel carbon-climate related research to take place.

These are the first wave gliders ever deployed in the Southern Ocean

Extensive experiments made using autonomous platforms in the Southern Ocean, such as SOSCEx, highlight the value these platforms have in establishing an observing system in the Southern Ocean. The combined effect of the remote, harsh environment and the lack of continuous observations made outside of the austral summer sampling window in the Southern Ocean, make these robots ideal platforms to support SOOS and its 20-year vision (Meredith et al., 2013).

 

Data Management

Data will be submitted to the South African Data Centre for Oceanography (SADCO), after which the data will be distributed to the appropriate data streams to make it available to the community.

 

 

Acknowledgements

We thank APL at the University of Washington for hosting us on the Integrative Observational Platforms (IOP) for the past year and NOAA-PMEL in set up and operations of CO2 sensors on wave gliders. This research is funded by DST-CAPEX, SANAP-NRF and CSIR-YREF grants.

References

Meredith MP, et al. 2013 The vision for a Southern Ocean Observing System. Curr Opin Environ Sustain. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.03.002 Swart S., N. Chang, N. Fauchereau, W. Joubert, M. Lucas, T. Mtshali, A. Roychoudhury, A. Tagliabue, S. Thomalla, H. Waldron, P.M.S. Monteiro. 2012. Southern Ocean Seasonal Cycle Experiment 2012: Seasonal scale climate and carbon cycle links. S Afr J Sci., 108(3/4), doi.org/10.4102/sajs.v108i3/4.1089.

  • A SOCCO Seaglider waiting to be deployed in the Southern Ocean
  • A SOCCO Seaglider on the deck of the SA Agulhas II
  • Autonomous platforms battle the effects of bio-fouling in the ocean. Here, Goose-Neck Barnacles grow prolifically on the glider body and sensors, thereby altering its ability to efficiently profile the water column and collect quality measurements.
  • A newly acquired CO2 measuring wave glider being transported in Cape Town, South Africa before deployment into the Subantarctic Zone.
  • SA-AgulhasSouth Africa's Antarctic resupply vessel the MV SA Agulhas in bay ice in Antarctica
  • Ocean technician Gavin Tutt (left) and senior researcher Dr Sebastiaan Swart (right) deploy a Seaglider into the Southern Ocean.

 

Glider deployments made during SOSCEx in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Upcoming, simultaneous Seaglider and Wave Glider deployments and transects are indicated on the map.

Glider deployments made during SOSCEx in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Upcoming, simultaneous Seaglider and Wave Glider deployments and transects are indicated on the map.

South Africa’s ocean gliders are already making unprecedented impact on the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observatory’s (SOCCO) research by providing extended time series of physical and biogeochemical observations in the heart of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.

Their previous long term mission, the Southern Ocean Seasonal Cycle Experiment (SOSCEx, Swart et al., 2012) was conducted between September 2012 and March 2013, when five state-of-the-art autonomous Seagliders were deployed in the Southern Ocean from aboard South Africa’s newest polar ship, the SA Agulhas II. The gliders observed the SAZ region of the SE Atlantic-Southern Ocean for six months, while being carefully navigated remotely via satellite communications by glider pilots back on dry land in Cape Town. By the end of the experiment the gliders had managed to complete over 5000 profiles of the water column between the surface and 1 km depth, while covering a total horizontal distance of 7000 km – equivalent to the distance between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro.
SOCCO recently acquired a newer form of ocean robot, the wave glider, which is a wave powered surface platform measuring surface fluxes, in this case CO2 and O2, between the ocean and the atmosphere. As a follow on to the SOSCEx experiment and in collaboration with NOAA-PMEL, in the USA, a wave glider and a Seaglider will be simultaneously deployed in the Subantarctic Zone in early September 2013. The two types of gliders will then be piloted and kept together to follow the GoodHope monitoring line southwards towards the Antarctic, while observing both the physical dynamics and biogeochemical parameters in the subsurface ocean while also acquiring CO and O2 gas flux measurements on the surface ocean. By early December 2013, a second set of deployments will see another tandem deployment of gliders in the marginal sea ice region of the northern Weddell Sea. The combined measurements made by the two types of gliders provide a unique view of the ocean-atmosphere state over the austral spring-summer-autumn seasonal cycle, providing valuable data that allows for novel carbon-climate related research to take place.

These are the first wave gliders ever deployed in the Southern Ocean

Extensive experiments made using autonomous platforms in the Southern Ocean, such as SOSCEx, highlight the value these platforms have in establishing an observing system in the Southern Ocean. The combined effect of the remote, harsh environment and the lack of continuous observations made outside of the austral summer sampling window in the Southern Ocean, make these robots ideal platforms to support SOOS and its 20-year vision (Meredith et al., 2013).

 

Data Management

Data will be submitted to the South African Data Centre for Oceanography (SADCO), after which the data will be distributed to the appropriate data streams to make it available to the community.

 

 

Acknowledgements

We thank APL at the University of Washington for hosting us on the Integrative Observational Platforms (IOP) for the past year and NOAA-PMEL in set up and operations of CO2 sensors on wave gliders. This research is funded by DST-CAPEX, SANAP-NRF and CSIR-YREF grants.

References

Meredith MP, et al. 2013 The vision for a Southern Ocean Observing System. Curr Opin Environ Sustain. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.03.002 Swart S., N. Chang, N. Fauchereau, W. Joubert, M. Lucas, T. Mtshali, A. Roychoudhury, A. Tagliabue, S. Thomalla, H. Waldron, P.M.S. Monteiro. 2012. Southern Ocean Seasonal Cycle Experiment 2012: Seasonal scale climate and carbon cycle links. S Afr J Sci., 108(3/4), doi.org/10.4102/sajs.v108i3/4.1089.

  • A SOCCO Seaglider waiting to be deployed in the Southern Ocean
  • A SOCCO Seaglider on the deck of the SA Agulhas II
  • Autonomous platforms battle the effects of bio-fouling in the ocean. Here, Goose-Neck Barnacles grow prolifically on the glider body and sensors, thereby altering its ability to efficiently profile the water column and collect quality measurements.
  • A newly acquired CO2 measuring wave glider being transported in Cape Town, South Africa before deployment into the Subantarctic Zone.
  • SA-AgulhasSouth Africa's Antarctic resupply vessel the MV SA Agulhas in bay ice in Antarctica
  • Ocean technician Gavin Tutt (left) and senior researcher Dr Sebastiaan Swart (right) deploy a Seaglider into the Southern Ocean.

 

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