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BIGSOUTH (July 2013)

BIoGeochemical cycles in the SOUTHern Ocean: Role within the Earth System (BIGSOUTH)

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Summary of the project

The BIGSOUTH project (Biogeochemical cycles in the Southern Ocean: role within the Earth system) aims at achieving a detailed understanding of the processes controlling functioning and strength of the oceanic biological pump for representative key areas of the Southern Ocean, including open ocean and sea-ice covered areas, in order to upgrade present day assessments of the carbon sequestration capacity and nutrient cycling in the Southern Ocean and possible impacts on the global ocean. Therefore, we apply a unique combination of stable isotope (natural and spiked isotopic abundances), geochemical tracers, trace element and modelling tools to study the relevant biogeochemical processes and control factors (including Fe) acting on the fluxes of carbon and the two major macronutrients N and Si in the open and seasonally sea-ice covered water column.

Since the start of the project we have applied this combination of tools during three major Southern Ocean studies: (1) KEOPS 2 (Kerguelen Ocean and Plateau compared Study; Oct. 6 to Nov. 30, 2011): understanding the impact of natural iron fertilization from plateau sediments on the efficacy of the biological pump in the vicinity of Kerguelen Island; (2) YROSIAE, (Oct. 2011 – Dec. 2012): multi-year survey of air-sea, ice-ocean fluxes of carbon, nutrients, trace metal and climate gases together with sea ice biogeochemistry, including primary production and N, Si uptake in McMurdo Sound; (3) SIPEX 2 (Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem eXperiment; Oct.-Nov. 2012; Australian Antarctic Basin): study of the sea ice biogeochemistry in an early season situation, focusing on primary production and nutrient (N, Si) uptake.  Analysis and data interpretation are ongoing. A further ongoing expedition in which we participate is AWECS (Antarctic Winter Ecosystem Climate Study) in the Weddell Sea (Jul.-Aug. 2013), which is devoted to sea ice biogeochemistry (trace metals, nutrients and climate gases).

 

Area of study

Southern Ocean: Atlantic sector (Weddell Gyre); Indian sector (30°E to Kerguelen Plateau; Australian sector (115° - 147°E); Ross Sea

 

Time Table for activities

12 January 2010 - 30 November 2014

 

Link

BIGSOUTH website

 

Contact

DEHAIRS Frank

(coordinator of BIGSOUTH)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels

Belgium

fdehairs@vub.ac.be  

ANDRE Luc

Royal Museum for Central Africa

Earth Sciences Department, Leuvensesteenweg, 13

B-3080 Tervuren

Belgium

luc.andre@africamuseum.be

DELILLE Bruno

Université de Liège, Unité d'Océanographie Chimique

Département d'Astrophysique, Géophysique et Océanographie

Allée du 6 Août, 17, Bât. B5, B4000 Liège

Belgium

Bruno.Delille@ulg.ac.be
http://www.co2.ulg.ac.be

FRIPIAT François

Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Earth system Sciences & Analytical and Environmental Chemistry

Pleinlaan 2, B1050 Brussels

Belgium

ffripiat@ulb.ac.be

GOOSSE Hugues

Université catholique de Louvain
Earth and Life Institute
Centre de recherches sur la terre et le climat Georges Lemaître SST/ELI/ELIC
Place Louis Pasteur, 3, boite L4.03.08
B1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Belgium

hugues.goosse@uclouvain.be

TISON Jean-Louis

Université Libre de Bruxelles
Glaciology Unit
Earth and Environmental Sciences department
CP160/03, avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50
B1050 Brussels
Belgium
jtison@ulb.ac.be

VANCOPPENOLLE Martin

Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat (Expérimentations et Approches Numériques)
LOCEAN - UMR7159 CNRS/IRD/UPMC/MNHN
IPSL Boîte 100
4 Place Jussieu
75252 Paris Cedex 05
France
martin.vancoppenolle@locean-ipsl.upmc.fr