SOTS: automated moorings for climate and carbon cycle studies southwest of Tasmania

Long-term monitoring of the Southern Ocean by automated moorings.
Voyage No


20 Mar, 2015


01 Apr, 2015




Chief Scientist

Prof Tom Trull


Antarctic and Climate Ecosystems CRC

Voyage summary

Research voyage to the Southern Ocean, southwest of Tasmania, to support maintenance of Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) automated moorings which collect data for long-term monitoring of the Southern Ocean.

The primary objective of this voyage is to deploy a full set of SOTS moorings (SOFS, Pulse, and SAZ) and to obtain ancillary information of the oceanographic conditions at the time of deployment using CTD casts, underway measurements, the TRIAXUS towed body, and deployment of autonomous profiling Bio-Argo floats.

The voyage will support three piggyback projects:

  • Composition of phytoplankton (Philip Heraud, Monash University)
  • Properties of Southern Ocean Clouds and Aerosols (Alain Protat, BOM; Melita Keywood, CSIRO)
  • Southern Ocean Carbon Cycling Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) Lynne Talley, Scripps Institution of Oceanography , and the SOCCOM consortium (

Voyage impact

As a result of this voyage, scientists have a better understanding of the ocean and atmospheric conditions in the Southern Ocean, spanning clouds, rain and aerosols, air-sea fluxes, ocean chemistry (including carbon) and biology.

The  research directly addressed the issue of how ocean biogeochemistry and productivity respond to ocean dynamics, which is an important input to projecting future biogeochemical and ecosystem states. An enhanced understanding of processes occurring in the region related to clouds, ocean mixing, waves and rain will lead to improved forecasts and warnings issued to the public.

While mooring deployments were the core activity of this voyage, the voyage also achieved a wide variety of additional scientific results, including a range of new collaborations via piggyback projects.