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A team of researchers led by British Antarctic Survey has for the first time mapped the deepest part of the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean. This part of the ocean is more than seven kilometres deep in places and could reveal how the densest water in the ocean is changing.
The team on the RRS James Clark Ross is looking at the physics and biogeochemistry of how the ocean mixing and currents behave between the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Scotia Ridge. They have undertaken the first comprehensive swath mapping of the southern part of the South Sandwich Trench, which could hide significant new insights into Antarctic Bottom Water production and evolution, acting as a sort of time capsule for old water.
Research - Cruise - ANDREX - II - Deep-Water
The research cruise called ANDREX II (Antarctic Deep-Water Rates of Export) is part of the ORCHESTRA programme. Data is being collected by mapping of the sea floor and water sampling using a CTD.
The aim of the cruise, aside from mapping an interesting and previously unexplored part of the ocean, is that the very deep holes may act as oceanographic time capsules. This trench is directly in the outflow path of the deepest and densest bottom waters from the Weddell Sea. The dense bottom water will fall into the holes, but then be trapped and unable to rise up again. These are of...
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