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Antarctic slush-ice algal accumulation not quantified through conventional satellite imagery: beware the ice of March


Lieser, JL and Curran, MAJ and Bowie, AR and Davidson, AT and Doust, SJ and Fraser, AD and Galton-Fenzi, BK and Massom, RA and Meiners, KM and Melbourne-Thomas, J and Reid, PA and Strutton, PG and Vance, TR and Vancoppenolle, M and Westwood, KJ and Wright, SW, Antarctic slush-ice algal accumulation not quantified through conventional satellite imagery: beware the ice of March, The Cryosphere Discussions, 9 pp. 6187-6222. ISSN 1994-0432 (2015) [Non Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.5194/tcd-9-6187-2015


Our current knowledge of broad-scale patterns of primary production in the Southern Ocean is derived from satellite ocean-colour estimates of chlorophyll a (Chl a) in the open ocean, typically in spring-summer. Here, we provide evidence that large-scale intra-ice phytoplankton surface aggregation occur off the coast of Antarctica during austral autumn, and that these "blooms" are largely undetected in satellite ocean-colour time series (which mask the ice-covered ocean). We present an analysis of (i) true-colour (visible) satellite imagery in combination with (ii) conventional ocean-colour data, and (iii) direct sampling from a research vessel, to identify and characterise a large-scale intra-ice algal occurrence off the coast of East Antarctica in early autumn (March) 2012. We also present evidence of these autumn "blooms" in other regions (for example, Princess Astrid Coast in 2012) and other years (for example, Terra Nova Bay in 2015) implying regular and widespread occurrence of these phenomena. The occurrence of such undetected algal accumulations implies that the magnitude of primary production in the Southern Ocean is currently underestimated.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctic sea ice, algae, remote sensing
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic environments (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Lieser, JL (Dr Jan Lieser)
UTAS Author:Curran, MAJ (Dr Mark Curran)
UTAS Author:Bowie, AR (Professor Andrew Bowie)
UTAS Author:Fraser, AD (Dr Alex Fraser)
UTAS Author:Galton-Fenzi, BK (Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi)
UTAS Author:Massom, RA (Dr Robert Massom)
UTAS Author:Meiners, KM (Dr Klaus Meiners)
UTAS Author:Melbourne-Thomas, J (Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas)
UTAS Author:Strutton, PG (Professor Peter Strutton)
UTAS Author:Vance, TR (Dr Tessa Vance)
UTAS Author:Westwood, KJ (Dr Karen Westwood)
UTAS Author:Wright, SW (Dr Simon Wright)
ID Code:104455
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2015-11-12
Last Modified:2015-11-12

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