The surface layer properties of the Weddell Gyre were measured during a cruise of the RV 'Polarstern' in September and October 1989 on a transect between the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (northwestern Weddell Sea) and Cape Norvegia (southeastern Weddell Sea). Sea ice cover, hydrography, and the distribution of inorganic nutrients and dissolved oxygen repre-sented late winter conditions: a quasi homogeneous Winter Water layer with near-freezing temperatures, high salinities and high levels of nitrate, and undersaturated with dis-solved oxygen.The area investi-gated could be divided into three regions based on the physical, chemical and biological patterns: the western and eastern flanks and the gyre interior. In all areas autotrophic biomass in sea ice was high in comparison to the un-derlying water column. With-in the sea ice mainly diatoms and dinoflagellates were pre-sent, but the dominant au-to-trophic organisms in the water column were nanoflagellates. Ammonia values were relatively high in the Winter Water layer in the central region indicating heterotrophic activity. Meso-zoo-plank-ton was dominated by copepods which can in turn be divided into two groups: overwintering, inactive Calanus acutus were found in the Warm Deep Water, whereas actively feeding Calanus propinquus were most abundant in the upper 120 m of the water column under the sea ice in the central region. These spatial differences may influence development of the respective sum-mer pelagic communities.
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Physical Oceanography of the Polar Seas
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Climate Dynamics
AWI Organizations > Climate Sciences > Sea Ice Physics