The CONVERGE Project, a collaborative research project between Rutgers University, the University of Delaware, the Polar Oceans Research Group and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, aims to investigate the impact of local physical processes on Adélie penguin foraging ecology in the vicinity of Palmer Deep canyon off Anvers Island, Western Antarctic Peninsula. Guided by real−time surface convergence based on remotely sensed surface current maps derived from a network of High Frequency Radars (HFRs), we will adaptively sample the distribution of the phytoplankton and Antarctic krill, which influence Adélie penguin foraging ecology to understand how local oceanographic processes structure the ecosystem.
The HFR coastal surface current mapping network will allow us to resolve local circulation patterns over Palmer Deep canyon. The surface current maps will make it possible to identify regions of convergence and divergence in real time. Guided by these maps, our field study will adaptively sample the identified convergence and divergence zones within the context of semi−diurnal and diurnal tidal regimes.
The in situ sampling includes (a) a mooring deployment, (b) underwater glider deployments, (c) small boat acoustic surveys targeting Antarctic krill and (d) penguin ARGOS−linked satellite telemetry and time−depth recorders (TDRs). The combination of the real−time surface convergence maps with adaptive in situ sampling introduces HFR to the Antarctic in a way that will allow us to rigorously and efficiently test the influence of local tidal processes on top predator foraging ecology.
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