ANDREX - RRS James Cook in Falklands

ANDREX - CTD recovery

ANDREX - Weddell Gyre Iceberg

ANDREX - South Georgia Penguins

ANDREX - RRS James Cook in Weddell Gyre

ANDREX - CFC sampling

ANDREX - RRS James Cook in South Georgia


The Antarctic Deep Water Rates of Export (ANDREX) project seeks to assess the role of the Weddell gyre in driving the southern closure of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC), in ventilating the deep global ocean and in sequestering carbon and nutrients in the global ocean abyss. Both marine biogeochemistry and physical transports of these deep waters will be investigated.

Schematic representation of the global meridional overturning circulation, and the location of the ANDREX study region in relation to this. Adapted from Kuhlbrodt et al. (2008) Rev. Geophys. (click to enlarge)
Overturning Circulation with ANDREX study zone highlighted

The project focuses on the gyre’s outer rim, which acts as a major gateway for the exchange of water masses and tracers between the Antarctic seas and the rest of the world ocean. The central goal to measure the rates at which water masses, nutrients and carbon are transported between the Weddell Gyre and Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Vertical profiles will be made of temperature, salinity, currents, tracers - helium isotopes, tritium, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), oxygen isotopes - nutrients, oxygen and inorganic carbon system parameters (total CO2 and alkalinity) in order to estimate these fluxes. The ANDREX cruise track links well with the WOCE IR6S hydrographic section - carried out in February 2008 - to completely enclose the Weddell gyre.


Schematic of cruise tracks of ANDREX (red) and IR6S (green) enclosing the Weddell Gyre.
Weddell Gyre - ANDREX study area


ANDREX is a joint project between scientists from four UK research centres: the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOC), the British Antarctic Survey, the University of East Anglia, and the University of Manchester. Some measurements will also be conducted by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, USA. ANDREX is funded by the UK Antarctic Funding Initiative (AFI), with a contribution from CARBOOCEAN.

School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
Photos by Pete Brown and Karel Castro Morales
Last updated 19 November 2009. Site maintained by Pete Brown

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