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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2018-82
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Aug 2018

Research article | 08 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

From sea ice to seals: A moored marine ecosystem observatory in the Arctic

Claudine Hauri1, Seth Danielson2, Andrew M. P. McDonnell2, Russell R. Hopcroft2, Peter Winsor2, Peter Shipton2, Catherine Lalande3, Kathleen M. Stafford4, John K. Horne5, Lee W. Cooper6, Jacqueline M. Grebmeier6, Andrew Mahoney7, Klara Maisch8, Molly McCammon9, Hank Statscewich2, Andy Sybrandy10, and Thomas Weingartner2 Claudine Hauri et al.
  • 1International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, USA
  • 2College of Fisheries and Ocean Science, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, USA
  • 3Département de Biologie, Université Laval, Québec, QC, G1V 0A6, Canada
  • 4Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA
  • 5School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA
  • 6Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Solomons, MD, 20688, USA
  • 7Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, USA
  • 8Klara Maisch Art and Design, Fairbanks, AK, 99775, USA
  • 9Alaska Ocean Observing System, Anchorage, AK, 99501, USA
  • 10Pacific Gyre Inc., Oceanside, CA, 92056, USA

Abstract. Although Arctic marine ecosystems are changing rapidly, year-round monitoring is currently very limited and presents multiple challenges unique to this region. The Chukchi Ecosystem Observatory (CEO) described here uses new sensor technologies to meet needs for continuous, high resolution, and year-round observations across all levels of the ecosystem in the biologically productive and seasonally ice-covered Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast of Alaska. This mooring array records a broad suite of parameters that facilitate observations, yielding better understanding of physical, chemical and biological couplings, phenologies, and the overall state of this Arctic shelf marine ecosystem. While cold temperatures and eight months of sea ice cover present challenging conditions for the operation of the CEO, this extreme environment also serves as a rigorous test bed for innovative ecosystem monitoring strategies. Here, we present data from the 2015–16 CEO deployments that provide new perspectives on the seasonal evolution of sea ice, water column structure and physical properties, annual cycles in nitrate, dissolved oxygen, phytoplankton blooms and export, zooplankton abundance and vertical migration, the occurrence of Arctic cod, and vocalizations of marine mammals such as bearded seals. These integrated ecosystem observations are being combined with ship-based observations and modeling to produce a time-series that documents biological community responses to changing seasonal sea ice and water temperatures while establishing a scientific basis for ecosystem management.

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Short summary
The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly. In order to track these changes, we developed and deployed a long-term marine ecosystem observatory in the Chukchi Sea. It helps us to better understand currents, waves, sea ice, salinity, temperature, nutrient and carbon concentrations, oxygen, phytoplankton blooms and export, zooplankton abundance and vertical migration, the occurrence of fish and marine mammals throughout the year, even during the ice covered winter months.
The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly. In order to track these changes, we developed and deployed...
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