2012-13: 27th AMLR Field Season Continued Examination of Summer and Winter Ecosystem Processes

The 27th field season of the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources ( AMLR) Program began 14 October 2012, with the opening of the Copacabana Field Station on King George Island. Consistent with the historical research conducted by the Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division ( AERD), land-based field research consists of five to six months of predator studies at two field stations in the South Shetland Islands. The Cape Shirreff Field Station on Livingston Island opened on 8 November 2012 and closed 26 February 2013. Copa also closed at the end of February 2013, marking yet another successful summer predator season for AMLR. Weekly progress reports from the field stations are available below.

In addition to our summer land-based field studies, the AERD is currently collaborating with German and Peruvian Antarctic research programs to collect summer ecosystem data on krill biomass and zooplankton distribution and abundance in the area around the South Shetland Islands. Please visit our dedicated webpage for more information and weekly cruise reports from our international summer vessel collaborations.

2013 AMLR Oceanographic Cruise an Icy Success: Experience One Month of an Antarctic Winter in 13 Minutes Here!*

The U.S. AMLR Program successfully completed its second winter ecosystem survey on 9 September 2013, after 30 days aboard the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer in the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula Region. Scientists onboard included AMLR personnel, as well as colleagues from the Peruvian Fisheries Agency ( El Instituto del Mar del Perú; IMARPE), the Catholic University in Valparaiso, Chile, the University of Padova in Padova, Italy, the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Hawaii, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. These collaborations mark this survey as a true international effort to accomplish both the AMLR Program’s traditional research objectives and some exciting new research additions.

The 2013 austral winter set a record for northern ice extent, and several stations on the AMLR survey grid that were ice-free last year had some degree of ice cover this year, ranging from thin first-year ice to thicker, multi-year ice. Despite the challenges associated with deploying oceanographic sampling equipment in these conditions, 88 stations from the South, West, and Elephant Island Areas of the South Shetland Islands were completed, covering an area of 130,000 km2. At these stations, water column characteristics and zooplankton communities were evaluated, and several species of euphausiids, copepods, and amphipods were collected for energetic, lipid, and stable isotope analysis. Additionally, bird and marine mammal observations were conducted over 2,000 nautical miles between stations.

New this year to the AMLR survey was a collaboration between the AMLR Program and the Desert Research Institute’s Dr. Alison Murray. During the survey, ice cores were drilled from 10 ice floes to study the microorganisms inhabiting the ice and the briny water beneath.

Read the weekly progress reports from the field:

Cape Shirreff
Copacabana RVIB Nathaniel Palmer
  • Week 1: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 2: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 3: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 4: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 5: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 6: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 7: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 8: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 9: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 10: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 11: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 12: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 13: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 14: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 15: Cape Shirreff
  • Week 16: Cape Shirreff

  • Week 1: Copacabana
  • Week 2: Copacabana
  • Week 3: Copacabana
  • Week 4: Copacabana
  • Week 5: Copacabana
  • Week 6: Copacabana
  • Week 7: Copacabana
  • Week 8: Copacabana
  • Week 9: Copacabana
  • Week 10: Copacabana
  • Week 11: Copacabana
  • Week 12: Copacabana
  • Week 13: Copacabana
  • Week 14: Copacabana
  • Week 15: Copacabana
  • Week 16: Copacabana
  • Week 17: Copacabana
  • Week 18: Copacabana
  • Week 19: Copacabana
  • 2013 Palmer Report 1
  • 2013 Palmer Report 2
  • 2013 Palmer Report 3
  • 2013 Palmer Report 4

Last modified: 11/8/2017