Voyage to Iceberg Alley

A couple of days ago, right around sunrise, we sailed out of the Straits of Magellan and into the southern Atlantic Ocean, bound for the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic waters known as Iceberg Alley. Giant petrels soared against a clear blue sky, and gentle waves rocked the ship—although we didn’t expect that to last! I am aboard the JOIDES Resolution, a research vessel and drilling ship, and we are intentionally sailing into some of the planet’s wildest seas and the area of greatest iceberg concentration in the Antarctic.

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Marine Snow & Muddy Megacoring on the Southern Ocean

Our polar oceans and diatoms, a kind of microalgae, in particular play a major role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide. Led by oceanographers Dr. Rebecca Robinson and Dr. Mark Brzezinski, our SNOWBIRDS Transect team has been studying how the influence of nitrogen and silicon on the productivity of diatoms is recorded in sediments.

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