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The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

Ryan Scott


Ocean mixing is an important mechanism for delivering heat to the base of ice shelves in Antarctica. However, conventional data collection methods like a free-falling profiler are time and resource intensive, requiring dedicated ship-time to operate the instrument.  As a consequence, the processes driving ocean mixing are not very well understood.

Underwater autonomous gliders are a new platform that increases the number of measurements recorded within the ocean by an order of magnitude, and could therefore vastly improve our understanding of mixing processes. The gliders can be equipped with microstructure sensors that measure small-scale fluctuations in temperature and shear, which can be used to calculate mixing rates and heat fluxes.

My research involves analysing a dataset collected in Ryder Bay on the west Antarctic Peninsula in 2016.  Additional datasets, such as the long term measurements in the Rothera Time Series and mooring data will be used to support the analysis of mixing mechanisms and controls within Ryder Bay. Two newly collected glider datasets in the open ocean and near the shelf break will allow me to compare mixing rates and heat fluxes in different oceanographic settings.

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