LARISSA - LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica, a NSF-funded project.

LARISSA - LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica, a NSF-funded project.
We are conducting an integrated, multi-disciplinary field program to address the rapid and fundamental changes occurring in the Antarctic Peninsula region as a consequence of the abrupt collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in the fall of 2002. A profound transformation in ecosystem structure and function is occurring in coastal waters of the western Weddell Sea. This transformation appears to be yielding a redistribution of energy flow between chemoautotrophic and photosynthetic production, and to be causing the rapid demise of the extraordinary seep ecosystem discovered beneath the ice shelf, providing an ideal opportunity to test fundamental paradigms in ecosystem evolution.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday, Mar 14th Today, principal investigators from the three science groups (Geology, Cryosphere & Physical Oceanography, and Marine Ecosystems) presented the main objectives and the interdisciplinary science of the LARISSA project. Since we all can get very focused on our own work, we can easily forget the bigger picture, where all the pieces of the puzzle come together to tell the story of the Larsen Ice Shelf glaciers, sediments, and ocean ecosystems; this meeting did a good job to remind us the exciting science behind our Antarctic adventure.

Chief scientist, Maria Vernet of Scripps Institution of Oceanography presenting the objectives of the Marine Ecosystem Group (Photo A. Lancaster)

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