Sea ice parameters near McMurdo Station, Antarctica from 1986 to 2013

Data Type: Other Field Results
Version Date: 2017-01-18

» Food web dynamics in an intact ecosystem: the role of top predators in McMurdo Sound (McMurdo Predator Prey)
Kim, StacyMoss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML)Principal Investigator, Contact
Ainley, David G.H.T. Harvey & AssociatesCo-Principal Investigator
Ballard, GrantPoint Blue Conservation ScienceCo-Principal Investigator
Daly, Kendra L.University of South Florida (USF)Co-Principal Investigator
York, Amber D.Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI BCO-DMO)BCO-DMO Data Manager


Spatial Extent: N:-77 E:166.5 S:-78.5 W:163.8
Temporal Extent: 1986-01-01 - 2013-01-01

Dataset Description

This dataset contains sea ice thickness, sea ice temperature, and air temperature at the sea ice runway near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, from 1986-2013. 

Acquisition Description

Actual sampling location varied slightly between years and may be obtainable from support contractor records.  Approximate location of sampling was McMurdo Station, Antarctica (77°51′14″S, 166°28′07″E). The number of measurements varied between different years from 1 to 20.   All data were collected within an area of approximately 0.28 km2, at a standard suite of 16 stations along a 3000 m distance, and five stations across an orthogonal 1000 m distance.

At each station, small holes were drilled through the ice and the thickness measured using a meter tape with a lever-arm that held the zero-point against the bottom of the fast ice. Thickness was measured for solid ice and did not include underlying brash ice or frazil ice, nor overlying snow.


1999 began collection of additional data on time of day and snow depth
2003 began collection of additional data from shipping channel sites
2006 stopped collection of shipping channel site data, began collection of additional data on ice temperature profiles
2010 did not collect ice temperature profile data.

For access to additional data that are available but not transcribed into this data set; please contact authors to obtain access.

Processing Description

BCO-DMO Data Manager Processing Notes:
* added a conventional header with dataset name, PI name, version date
* modified parameter names to conform with BCO-DMO naming conventions
* blank values replaced with no data value 'nd'
* added approximate latitude and longitude of sampling location near McMurdo Station.

[ table of contents | back to top ]


lat_approxApproximate latitude of sampling near McMurdo Station; Antarctica; south is negative decimal degrees
lon_approxApproximate longitude of sampling near McMurdo Station; Antarctica; west is negative decimal degrees
datesampling date in format yyyy-mm-dd unitless
yearsampling year unitless
monthsampling month unitless
daysampling day unitless
ice_thickness_medianmedian ice thickness centimeters
ice_temp_medianmedian ice temperature degrees Celsius
air_tempair temp degrees Celsius

[ table of contents | back to top ]


Dataset-specific Instrument Name
meter tape
Generic Instrument Name
Measuring Tape
Generic Instrument Description
A tape measure or measuring tape is a flexible ruler. It consists of a ribbon of cloth, plastic, fibre glass, or metal strip with linear-measurement markings. It is a common tool for measuring distance or length.

[ table of contents | back to top ]



McMurdo Station
Start Date
End Date

[ table of contents | back to top ]

Project Information

Food web dynamics in an intact ecosystem: the role of top predators in McMurdo Sound (McMurdo Predator Prey)

Coverage: McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

Extracted from the NSF award abstract:

The research project investigates the importance of top down forcing on pelagic food webs. The relatively pristine Ross Sea includes large populations of upper-level predators such as minke and killer whales, Adélie and Emperor penguins, and Antarctic toothfish. This project focuses on food web interactions of Adélie penguins, minke whales, and the fish-eating Ross Sea killer whales, all of which exert foraging pressure on their main prey, crystal krill (Euphausia cyrstallorophias) and silver fish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) in McMurdo Sound.

The investigators used a video- and acoustic-capable ROV, and standard biological and environmental sensors to quantify the abundance and distribution of phytoplankton, sea ice biota, prey, and relevant habitat data.  The sampling area included 37 stations across an 30 x 15 km section of McMurdo Sound, stratified by distance from the ice edge as a proxy for air-breathing predator access. This study will be among the first to assess top-down forcing in the Ross Sea ecosystem and will form the basis for multidisciplinary studies in the future.

Map sampling stations


[ table of contents | back to top ]


Funding SourceAward
NSF Division of Polar Programs (NSF PLR)
NSF Division of Polar Programs (NSF PLR)
NSF Division of Polar Programs (NSF PLR)

[ table of contents | back to top ]