Hydrographic stations and phytoplankton studies in Ross Sea and Antarctic routes to/from New Zealand (1987-90)

Data set information

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Data holding centreUniversita' di Firenze, Laboratorio di Ecologia, Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale
CountryItaly  Italy
Time periodFrom January 1987 to February 1988 (also December 1989 to February 1990)
Geographical area

Pacific Ocean and Ross Sea along the routes 50° to 77° S, 160° to 180° E


Nitrate concentration parameters in the water column; Nitrite concentration parameters in the water column; Phosphate concentration parameters in the water column; Salinity of the water column; Temperature of the water column; Phytoplankton taxonomic abundance in water bodies; Density of the water column


Fluorometers; radiometers; discrete water samplers; optical microscopes; spectrophotometers


The aim of our research in the Ross Sea was to obtain a first estimate of the phytoplankton biomass and to define the temporal and spatial distribution of the planktonic algal species, in relation to some environmental factors which, at this latitude, are relevant to their growth (i.e., presence of pack ice, high nutrient concentration, light). During the first oceanographic cruise, several observations indicated the occurrence of a bloom at the end of February, but its development was not followed due to bad weather conditions. In 1989/90 the temporal variations of phytoplankton biomass have been followed in Terra Nova Bay, with daily sampling at 3 stations, to show the period of the phytoplankton bloom and its relation to the melting of pack ice. Moreover, the spatial phytoplankton distributions on a large scale has been studied, along a route from the Pacific Ocean to the Ross Sea, towards New Zealand. During the first expedition data were collected in a grid of 40 stations, extending 50x40 miles in front of Terra Nova Bay. During the 2nd expedition data were collected daily at 3 neritic stations in Terra Nova Bay, in 27 stations from 62° S to 75° S, and continuous sampling of the surface water from 45° S to 75° S. Measurements of temperature, salinity, density, dissolved oxygen and pH were carried out by means of a multiparametric probe. Downwelling, upwelling and scalar PAR quantic irradiance were measured by means of photoprobe equipped with LI-COR sensors. Analysis of phytoplankton pigments (Jeffrey and Humphrey, 1975, Biochem. Physiol. Plant. 167: 191-194; Lorenzen, 1967, Limnol. Oceanogr. 12: 343-346), nutrients (Strickland and Parsons, 1972, Bull. Fish. Res. Bd. Can., 167) and phytoplankton density (Hasle, 1978, Unesco Monogr. Oceanogr. Methods 6: 88-96) and species composition were carried out on each sample. Data are stored as time series at each of the 3 stations in Terra Nova Bay and as depth profiles and maps for the 2 oceanographic cruises.

OriginatorsUniversita' di Firenze, Laboratorio di Ecologia, Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale
Data web site
OrganisationUniversita' di Firenze, Laboratorio di Ecologia, Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale
AvailabilityBy negotiation
ContactMori G.

Universita' di Firenze, Laboratorio di Ecologia, Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale
Via P.A. Michelini 1


Collating centreNational Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS, Division of Oceanography
Local identifierOGS-EDMED-172
Global identifier3802
Last revised1992-10-20