Additional Participants

Technician, Programmer

Charlotte Lehmann

Other Participants

Vernon Asper

Organizational Partners

Chinese Polar Research Institute
Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration

Project Period

June 15, 1998-October 31, 2001

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This proposed work is a study of the biological production and export flux of biogenic matter in response to ventilation of intermediate and deep water masses within the Polar Front zone. It is a collaborative work between the University of Maine and the Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE). The shipboard work is proposed for the Chinese antarctic resupply vessel off Prydz Bay in the Indian Ocean sector. In the austral Spring, this region experiences phytoplankton blooms that are thought to be the result of nutrient transport by the ventilation of intermediate and deep water masses. On an annual basis, it is believed that such blooms are the primary source of particulate organic carbon and biogenic silica flux to the ocean bottom. At this time however no data exists on the amount of particulate organic matter that sinks through the water column, leaving the quantitative relationships between production and export largely undefined in this region. The initial phase of the work consists of setting out a time-series sediment trap mooring at approximately 64 deg S latitude and 73 deg E longitude to take advantage of the historical data set that CHINARE has obtained in this area over the past decade. The biweekly to monthly trap samples will be analyzed for their organic constituents, and in conjunction with primary productivity observations will provide the basic data from which export values can be derived. This work will be carried out in collaboration with the State Oceanic Administration of the People's Republic of China, and the Chinese Antarctic Research Expedition. In addition to providing time on the antarctic resupply vessel, the SOA will sponsor the shipboard primary productivity experiments and the supporting hydrographic measurements. The collaborating American scientists will provide guidance in making these observations to standards developed for the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study, and provide the hardware for the moored sediment trap. There will be a mutual sharing between the U.S. and Chinese investigators of all samples and data sets, and the data analysis will be carried out jointly.

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