SOTS: automated moorings for climate and carbon cycle studies in the Southern Ocean

Maintaining the Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) automated moorings for long-term monitoring of the Southern Ocean.
Voyage No


12 May, 2023


25 May, 2023




Chief Scientist

Dr Elizabeth Shadwick



Voyage summary

Research voyage to the Southern Ocean to maintain long-term deep-water automated moorings for monitoring of ocean and climate.

This voyage will contribute to global data sets and increase understanding of Southern Ocean characteristics, variability and processes. The Southern Ocean Time Series (SOTS) moorings provide year-long observations in a critical part of the Southern Ocean, where ocean interactions are most intense and least studied. This is information vital for informing ocean and climate modelling.

The primary voyage objective is to deploy a new set of SOTS moorings (SOFS-12 and SAZ-25) at 4200-4600 m depth and recover the existing SOTS moorings (SOFS-11 and SAZ-24) at 4600 m depth.

There are 4 other projects included on this voyage:

  • Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Radiation Interactions eXperiment – CAPRIX (Dr Alain Protat, BOM): Ongoing program of atmospheric surveys via release of 30-40 radiosondes (weather balloons).
  • Ecological and carbon sequestration role of mesopelagic organisms in the ocean (Dr Ben Scoulding, CSIRO): Net trawls of zooplankton and acoustic survey of basketwork eels on Patience Seamount.
  • Oceanic latitudinal study of diatom silica production rates (A/Prof Katherina Petrou, UTS): Obtain species-specific estimates of silica production within mixed natural phytoplankton communities.
  • Evolution of the Seafloor of the Australian-Antarctic Southern Ocean (Phil Vandenbossche, UTAS): Acquisition of targeted seafloor bathymetry and towed magnetometer data. 

SOTS is part of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), a global monitoring program to collect long time-series ocean data to better understand ocean and climate change and variability.

The science team on this voyage will have 29 science participants (and 20 crew) representing 6 institutions.

COVID Protocols

To safeguard the health and well-being of participants, strict COVID protocols apply to all activities on this voyage. This includes 2-phase PCR testing of all participants for COVID prior to boarding the vessel.

Voyage outcomes

A summary of voyage outcomes will be published approximately 3-6 months after the completion of the voyage.