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Dovetail Deep Ocean Ventilation Through Antarctic Intermediate

NW Weddell Sea DOVETAIL is an international oceanography research program designed to observe physical processes in the Weddell-Scotia Confluence region in order to quantify the ways in which it influences ventilation of the World Ocean by Weddell Sea water.

The US observation program began in late July 1997 with a 40 day cruise on board the RVIB Nathaniel B Palmer, during which CTD/tracer transects were carried out, and current meter moorings and drifting ice buoys were deployed. See the Cruise Report for details. The moorings deployed on this cruise will join several moorings put out earlier by investigators of the Alfred Wegener Institute in 1996.

DOVETAIL priorities parallel, and the results will contribute to, ongoing global change research. The processes responsible for vertical and horizontal fluxes within the ocean and associated interaction with the sea ice and atmosphere in polar regions must be properly represented in global circulation and climate models. The DOVETAIL study region, off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula serves as the primary gateway between the southern polar waters and the global ocean. This region can therefore be considered as a "vital" location for long term monitoring of the discharge of cold Antarctic Water into the global ocean. Results from the DOVETAIL experiment will aid in establishing long-range monitoring of this critical region. Both the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the ocean component of the Global Climate Observation System (GCOS) have been established by a number of international bodies to provide such monitoring data.

DOVETAIL is a component of the International Antarctic Zone (iAnzone) program.

The US research in DOVETAIL is funded by the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation

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