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Ocean glider observations of iceberg-enhanced biological production in the northwestern Weddell Sea

Journal article
Authors Louise C. Biddle
Jan Kaiser
Karen J. Heywood
Andrew F. Thompson
Adrian Jenkins
Published in Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 42
Pages 459-465
ISSN 00948276
Publication year 2015
Published at
Pages 459-465
Language en
Keywords Antarctic, Gliders, Iceberg, Production
Subject categories Oceanography


© 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.Icebergs affect local biological production around Antarctica. We used an ocean glider to observe the effects of a large iceberg that was advected by the Antarctic Slope Current along the continental slope in the northwestern Weddell Sea in early 2012. The high-resolution glider data reveal a pronounced effect of the iceberg on ocean properties, with oxygen concentrations of (13±4) μmolkg-1 higher than levels in surrounding waters, which are most likely due to positive net community production. This response was confined to three areas of water in the direct vicinity of the iceberg track, each no larger than 2 km2. Our findings suggest that icebergs have an impact on Antarctic production presumably through local micronutrient injections, on a scale smaller than typical satellite observations of biological production in the Southern Ocean.

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