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Cumulative solar irradiance and potential large-scale sea ice algae distribution off East Antarctica (30oE-150oE)


Raymond, B and Meiners, K and Fowler, CW and Pasquer, B and Williams, GD and Nicol, S, Cumulative solar irradiance and potential large-scale sea ice algae distribution off East Antarctica (30oE-150oE), Polar Biology, 32, (3) pp. 443-452. ISSN 0722-4060 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1007/s00300-008-0538-5


We present a computational model of the largescale cumulative light exposure of sea ice in the Southern Ocean off East Antarctica (30E–150E). The model uses remotely sensed or modelled sea ice concentration, snow depth over sea ice, and solar irradiance data, and tracks sea ice motion over the season of interest in order to calculate the cumulative exposure of the ice field to photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). Light is the limiting factor to sea ice algal growth over winter and early spring, and so the results have implications for the estimation of algal biomass in East Antarctica. The model results indicate that highly light-exposed ice is restricted to within a few degrees of the coast in the eastern part of the study region, but extends much further north in the 30E–100E sector. The relative influences of sea ice motion, solar flux, and snow depth variations on interannual variations in model predictions were evaluated. The model estimates of cumulative PAR were found to correlate with satellite estimates of subsequent open-water chlorophyll-a concentration, consistent with the notion that sea ice algae can provide inocula for phytoplankton blooms.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Sea ice, Sea ice motion, Photosynthetically active radiation, Sea ice algae, East Antarctica
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Ecosystem function
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Raymond, B (Dr Ben Raymond)
UTAS Author:Meiners, K (Dr Klaus Meiners)
UTAS Author:Pasquer, B (Dr Benedicte Pasquer)
UTAS Author:Williams, GD (Associate Professor Guy Williams)
ID Code:62452
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2010-03-12
Last Modified:2011-10-11
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