SOLOMON: Southern Ocean Long-term Observation and MONitoring

SOCCOM & GO-BGC Deployment in the Southern Ocean

SOLOMON: Southern Ocean Long-term Observation and MONitoring

SOCCOM & GO-BGC Deployment in the Southern Ocean

January 06 – February 18, 2023

GO-BGC

The Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array (GO-BGC) is a project funded by the US National Science Foundation to build and deploy a global network of chemical and biological sensors that will monitor ocean health. This new network of floats will collect data on the chemistry and the biology of the ocean from the surface to a depth of 2,000 meters, and will allow scientists to pursue fundamental questions concerning ocean ecosystems, observe ocean health and productivity, and monitor the elemental cycles of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen in the ocean through all seasons of the year.

SOCCOM

The Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project (SOCCOM) is an NSF-sponsored program focused on understanding the influence of the Southern Ocean on climate, including a major program to observe carbon processes in the Southern Ocean. Over the last 9 years SOCCOM has built an observing system for carbon, nutrients, and oxygen throughout the Southern Ocean, using profiling floats with biogeochemical sensors. This robotic float observing system is complemented by shipboard measurements during float deployments to the extent possible.

Biogeochemical Floats

These floats spend their lives drifting through the ocean, changing depth and collecting data at programmed intervals. The floats are battery-powered and host a suite of chemical and optical sensors. Every 10 days, they automatically ascend to the sea surface, taking a variety of measurements through the water column. Data are reported via satellite every time the float reaches the surface. They have enough batteries to last for about 200 to 300 profiles, so they will be able to collect data for approximately 3-4 years if all goes well. 

ARAON – Korean Research Icebreaker

This expedition will be hosted by the IBRV Araon—Korea’s first icebreaking research vessel. Built in 2009 and operated by the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), IBRV Araon was designed to conduct independent polar research in the frozen waters of the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as supply and personnel transportation to Southern Ocean and Arctic bases. Since 2021, KOPRI has been implementing a polar infrastructure joint utilization system to expand the base of polar research. Through this initiative, the float programs were able to secure enough shiptime to deploy 10 floats and take measurements that support the floats just before they are deployed. Our current plan is to deploy five floats in the open ocean along the transit and five in the shallower shelf waters of the Ross Sea.

Korean Icebreaking Vessel Araon. Image credit: KOPRI

Korean Icebreaking Vessel Araon. Image credit: KOPRI

SOLOMON: Southern Ocean Long-term Observation and MONitoring

Because the SOCCOM & GO-BGC programs have little shiptime of their own, floats are deployed from ships of opportunity from many different countries. As a result, every cruise has had a different purpose. The goal of the SOLOMON expedition is to understand the current status of heat and carbon uptake capacity in the West Antarctic region and investigate the variability of material cycles and marine ecosystem response. The science team will be collecting samples and making observations such as:

  • Assessment of heat transport chance and carbon uptake evolution in the Southern Ocean
  • Variability of biogeochemical cycles in the Southern Ocean coastal region under shrinking cryosphere (global warming)
  • Detect biological production change and tracing marine ecosystem response

Station Plan

The sampling plan for the SOLOMON 2023 expedition includes measurements of temperature, salinity, pCO2, and some other biological and chemical components during the transit from Christchurch to the Ross Sea, and biological and chemical water sampling in the polynyas and continental shelf waters of the Ross Sea. 

Station Plan for the SOLOMON Expedition on Araon

IBRV Araon SOCCOM & GO-BGC Southern Ocean Expedition Log

QE Explorer

QE Explorer

Our eighth float, QE Explorer, has been deployed.  QE Explorer — Queen Elizabeth Secondary in Surrey, BC, Canada...

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Halfway

Halfway

Sailing on the edge of yesterday along the International Date Line  Between Hemispheres International Date During the last leg of our expedition, our research path took us right along the 180° line of longitude: the seam between the eastern and western...

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My Buddy Eric

My Buddy Eric

Our seventh float, My Buddy Eric, has been deployed  My Buddy Eric— Wallenberg High School in San Francisco, CA. Location: 179° 59.7197’ E; 74° 54.0507’ S Time: Fri 27 JAN 2023 10:17 UTC Temperature: -1.6°C, Wind 18 kts SSE Float Number: 21838 Float Type: Apex...

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Sir Float a Lot

Sir Float a Lot

Our sixth float, Sir Float a Lot, has been deployed  Sir Float a Lot— Our Lady of the Lake Parish School in Seattle, WA Location: 175° 29.6493’ E; 74° 54.0741’ STime: Thu 26 JAN 2023 00:15 UTCFloat Number: 21871Float Type: ApexFloat Program: SOCCOM This float was...

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Jang Bogo

Jang Bogo

Bad weather brings disappointment at Jang Bogo Station  Visiting Jang Bogo Station Arrival We arrived at Jang Bogo Station in the late hours of January 19, local time. I was excited to be so close to the continent and see the station, so I stayed up to check it...

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Sea Ice

Sea Ice

Crossing the Antarctic Circle into the Zone of Sea Ice.  Frozen Seas Ice Ahead As I was preparing to go to bed one night, I began to hear some loud crashes and bangs against the hull. Then more screeches and scrapes. On the other side of the wall from my cabin is...

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Sampling

Sampling

Water samples are taken at each float station to compare with the data sent back by the floats  Testing the Waters CTD—Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth Each time a float is deployed, every effort is made to sample the water at the same location in order to...

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Davie Dolphin

Davie Dolphin

Our fifth float, Davis Drive Davie Dolphin, has been deployed  Davis Drive Davie Dolphin—Davis Drive Elementary in Cary, NC Location: 160° 59.2561’ E; 63° 59.9108’ S Time: Sat 14 JAN 2023. 21:05 UTC Float Number: 20302 Float Type: Apex Float Program: GO-BGC This...

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Angel Ice Cream Float

Angel Ice Cream Float

Our fourth float, Angel Ice Cream Float, has been deployed  Angel Ice Cream Float—St. Joseph's Academy in St. Louis, MO Location: 160° 59.3179’ E; 62° 0.0215’ S Time: Sat 14 JAN 2023. 12:30 UTC Float Number: 20109 Float Type: Apex Float Program: GO-BGC...

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HK Leo

HK Leo

Our third float, HK Leo, has been deployed.   HK Leo—Fort Zumwalt East High School in Saint Peters, MO Location: 160° 59.2689’ E; 59° 59.9864’ S Time: Sat 14 JAN 2023. 04:04 UTC Float Number: 21951 Float Type: Apex Float Program: GO-BGC This float was adopted by...

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Project Smiley

Project Smiley

Our second float, Project Smiley, has been deployed.  Project Smiley—BioTECH at Richmond Heights in Miami, FL. Location: 160° 58.55.94’E; 58° 19.6401’ S Time: Fri 13 JAN 2023. 20:49 UTC Float Number: 1119 Float Type: Navis Float Program: SOCCOM This float was...

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Adventure

Adventure

Our first float, Adventure, has been deployed.  Adventure—Tacoma Science and Math Institute Location: 153° 05.02139’E; 50° 00.02028’ S Time: Thu Jan 12, 2023 01:01 UTC Float Number: 1121 Float Type: Navis Float Program: SOCCOM This float was adopted by the SAMi...

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