Monitoring ocean change and variability along 170⁰W from ice edge to the equator

Obtaining repeat measurements of the full suite of ocean properties along the GO-SHIP P15S section.
Voyage No


26 Apr, 2016


30 Jun, 2016



Lautoka (Fiji)

Chief Scientist

Dr Bernadette Sloyan (Leg 1) Dr Susan Wijffels (Leg 2)


Leg 1/2 - CSIRO

Voyage summary

Research voyage to undertake a program of full ocean depth measurements from the Antarctic ice-edge to the equator in order to monitor ocean change and variability. This voyage was split into two legs: Leg 1 - Hobart to Wellington (New Zealand); Leg 2 - Wellington to Lautoka (Fiji).

The ocean plays a crucial role in setting the rate and nature of climate change and variability through its moderation of the planetary heat and carbon budgets. Significant changes in the ocean heat and freshwater and carbon content have been detected using ocean observations. Continued ocean observations on this voyage will enable researchers to detect interannual to decadal climate variability that will aid understanding of the role of the ocean in moderating climate change and variability, including sea level rise and ocean acidification.

The primary voyage objective was to obtain repeat observations from the line P15S that is part of the international GO-SHIP repeat global survey network.

Voyage impact

As a result of this voyage, researchers completed 140 full-depth hydrographic stations along 170oW from the ice edge to the equator. The measurements taken include high-quality, full-depth ocean observations of temperature, salinity, pressure, oxygen, fluorometry, shear and micro-scale temperature major nutrients, oxygen, salinity, CFC helium and carbon components.

Argo floats were also deployed in the Southern and South Pacific Oceans alongside a host of other equipment, including XBTs, and bio-geochemical floats.

These data, together with other observational data and numerical models, will allow for the detection and attribution of ocean change and variability, and to assess the impact of the ocean on climate variability. They will be used to documented changes in the oceanic inorganic carbon content, driven by both the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 and natural variability. They will also provide for monitoring of large-scale changes in oceanic oxygen concentrations, quantify the global-scale warming of abyssal waters of Antarctic origin, and determine deep ocean stratification changes.