The primary goal of the international Antarctic Zone (iAnZone) program is to advance our quantitative knowledge and modeling capability of the seasonal cycle and interannual variability of the ocean and its sea ice cover, with emphasis on climate relevant fluxes which couple the Antarctic Zone to the atmosphere and to the Global Ocean.

The first internationally coordinated iAnZone field activity was Ice Station Weddell in 1992, directed at exploration of the environmental conditions along the western margin of the Weddell Sea and the formation and spreading of Antarctic Bottom Water. The second activity was the Antarctic Zone Flux (AnzFlux) experiment in 1994 , in which heat fluxes within the winter mixed layer, sea ice and atmospheric boundary layer were precisely measured. The AnzFlux summary appears on pages 81-88 in this report. These two activities focused upon processes associated with ocean ventilation within the polar waters.

The third iAnZone coordinated program, Deep Ocean VEntilation Through Antarctic Intermediate Layers (DOVETAIL) will take place in 1997-98. It builds upon the two preceding iAnZone programs which dramatically improved our understanding of the water mass modification processes within the Weddell Gyre. DOVETAIL purpose is to better define and understand the export of the cold water products produced within the Weddell Gyre into the global ocean and climate system. DOVETAIL proposes to focus on escape of the recently ventilated deep water from the Weddell Sea into the Global Ocean - the final stage in its role of ventilating deep ocean waters.

In addition to the development and coordination of these large Antarctic zone projects, iAnZone meetings are also intended to inform others of National research and field programs for the purpose of 'value-added' linkages among the participants.

iAnZone has been accepted as an affiliated program of The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research ( SCOR. )

iAnZone Goal:

Through development and coordination of observational and modeling programs, to advance our quantitative knowledge and modeling capability of climate relevant processes, their seasonal cycle, their inter-annual and decadal variability, within the Southern Ocean's Antarctic Zone (region poleward of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current), with emphasis ocean and atmosphere coupling in regions influenced by sea ice, and to the link between the Antarctic Zone and the global ocean and climate system.

Terms of Reference

  1. To identify, develop and coordinate research projects meeting the iAnZone goal.
  2. To provide a form for the exchange of iAnZone research plans, results and data.
  3. To participate in and assist with the coordination between Antarctic Zone and global climate research programs, with other Southern Ocean programs, and with colleagues.
  4. To advise SCOR on the development of appropriate observing system (e.g. for GOOS, GCOS), data sets and modeling strategies needed to understand the scales and mechanisms of climate variability within the Antarctic Zone.

Interaction of iAnZone with International Groups

iAnZone and WCRP and IGBP: iAnZone, with its proven record of working scientist ("grass roots") activities will promote and provide advice on iAnZone physical sciences to the ocean-related programs of the WCRP and IGBP.

CLIVAR implementation plans are now being developed, but it in view of the importance of the Antarctic Zone to ocean ventilation and coupling to the global climate system, it is very probable that a southern ocean activity in the sea ice regions will be sought. In view of the special nature of doing research in this region the coordination development by iAnZone will be a valued resource for CLIVAR.

ACSYS has an Arctic focus, though they view their sea ice modeling interest as bi-polar. iAnZone activities would be a great help in deriving the information needed to have the Southern Ocean processes correctly represented within sea ice models.

IPAB (international program of Antarctic Buoys) and ANITP (Antarctic Ice Thickness Project) are observational projects that contribute to iAnZone goals. Coordination of iAnZone research with IPAB and ANITP would be beneficial to both groups.

JGFOS: Many JGOFS activities involve field research in the Antarctic Zone. iAnZone research results should benefit analysis of the JGOFS data sets.

iAnZone and SCAR: ASPECT component of SCAR's GLOCHANT program is directed towards physical and biological sea ice research. iAnzone will coordinate its climate-based research with ASPECT.

iAnzone Schedule and Membership

1- Meetings: The iAnzone committee will hold workshops very other year (even years) to report on research progress, present plans and foster further coordination. Working scientists with interest in Antarctic Zone research will be invited to participate in the biannual meetings. Meeting reports will be distributed to members, related research programs and National Antarctic Committees. Between workshops communication is achieved by e/mail and other correspondence.

2- Steering Committee: A Steering Committee will consist of approximately 15 members who will set up the bi-annual meetings, promote actions recommended at those meetings and foster coordination between meetings. They will appoint their chairpersons (or co-chairs). All Steering Committee appointments are for three years, staggered appointments are envisioned to promote continuity. Appointments to the Steering Committee should be appropriate for the current primary research project.

3- Initial Steering Committee: To get the structure started an initial committee is appointed.

A. Gordon (USA) Co-chair E. Fahrbach (Germany) Co-chair    
R. Muench (USA) K. Heywood (UK)    
A. Piola (Argentina) J. Launiainen (Finland)    
P. Schlosser (USA) M. Garcia (Spain)    
M. Wakatsuchi (Japan) A. Klepikov (Russia)    
C. Garcia (Brazil) G. Spezie (Italy)    
N. Bindoff (Australia) H. Hellmer (Germany)

LDEO Physical Oceanography