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January 2014

Antarctica, The Last Frontier Now Conquered:
SeaSondes Deployed on Every Continent

Scientist Hank Statscewich posing with baby iceberg
Scientist Hank Statscewich posing with baby iceberg

Regardless of whether you consider the total number of continents on earth as being 4, 5, 6 or 7, CODAR company is pleased to announce that SeaSondes have been deployed on them all. This milestone was reached in January 2014 with SeaSondes installed for the first time in Antarctica.

Principal investigator Dr. Josh Kohut of Rutgers University and Hank Statscewich of University of Alaska Fairbanks are temporarily calling U.S. research facility Palmer Station on Anvers Island, Antarctica their home while they conduct a series of tests with SeaSondes at close to 65º South latitude.

According to Kohut, the multi-year mission, sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to “investigate the impact of local coastal physical processes (e.g. tides, currents, upwelling events, sea-ice) on Adelie penguin foraging ecology in the vicinity of Palmer Deep, off Anvers Island, WAP. Guided by real-time surface convergence and divergences derived from the SeaSonde HF radar network, a multidisciplinary research team will adaptively sample the distribution of phytoplankton and zooplankton, which influence Adelie penguin foraging ecology, to understand how local oceanographic processes structure the ecosystem.” Adelie penguin populations have been in serious decline since the 1990’s.

Penguins frolicking near Palmer Station
Penguins frolicking near Palmer Station

This part of the world’s ocean is highly under-sampled and even general ideas of current velocities, wave conditions and variabilities on spatial and temporal scales are not known. It is the goal of this first summer season deployments to determine the optimal HF radar operating parameters for this region via a series of field tests. Next summer season the SeaSondes will be redeployed using optimal configurations and settings having been pre-determined inside this initial season, with data outputs guiding adaptive biological sampling.

Follow the Antarctic field work and personal experiences of project member Hank Statscewich via his blog page: http://greenradar.blogspot.com.

View of glacier behind Palmer Station
View of glacier behind Palmer Station
Above & background: First SeaSondes operating in Antarctica
Above & background: First SeaSondes operating in Antarctica





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          




 

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