The focus of our research is to understand how ocean, atmosphere, sea ice and biogeochemical processes are affected by physical processes, particularly the annual cycle and interannual variability of sea ice.
Our sampling program addresses multiple spatial scales within one regional scale grid of ~50 regularly occupied oceanographic stations at which core measurements are conducted permitting repeated sampling on both seasonal and annual time scales, covering short and long-term ecological phenomena, and specific mechanistic studies. The sampling grid adds a unique strength to both the field and modeling programs by unifying measurements across all field components and facilitating data integration.
The Palmer LTER nominal sampling grid occupies a region ~200 km in cross-shelf width running ~1000 km along the western Antarctic Peninsula. The station locations in the sampling grid lie upon cross-shelf sample lines or grid lines spaced 100 km apart and grid stations on these lines spaced 20 km apart. Our focus is confined to the 200-600 lines, lines with the longest consistent sampling over the first 10 years of LTER data.