The Atlantic Meridional Transect Programme (1995 – 2016)

Rees, AP, Nightingale, PD, Poulton, AJ, Smyth, TJ, Tarran, GA and Tilstone, GH 2017 The Atlantic Meridional Transect Programme (1995 – 2016). Progress in Oceanography.

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Since 1995 the Atlantic Meridional Transect program (AMT - has undertaken extensive measurements of oceanographic and atmospheric variables on a passage between the UK and destinations in the South Atlantic (Falkland Islands, Chile, Uruguay and South Africa). This program, which spans more than 100° of latitude, crosses a range of ecosystems from sub-polar to tropical, from eutrophic shelf seas and upwelling systems, to oligotrophic mid-ocean gyres (Fig. 1). The AMT was originally conceived to utilise the bi-annual passage of the RRS James Clark Ross (JCR) between its home-base in the UK and its field-base in the Falklands. This initial phase, from 1995 to 2000 was largely funded by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) with additional support from NASA in order to test and ground-truth satellite algorithms of ocean colour (Aiken & Bale, 2000). The opportunities offered by this initiative meant that this series of repeated bi-annual cruises rapidly developed into a coordinated study of ocean biodiversity, biogeochemistry and ocean/atmosphere interactions. The second phase, between 2002 and 2006 was funded by a NERC consortium grant which is introduced and summarised in two manuscripts by Robinson (Robinson et al., 2009, Robinson et al., 2006) which form the introduction to special issues of Deep-Sea Research II. This phase utilised a hypothesis-led approach concerning the biogeochemistry of the different Atlantic Ocean provinces. In the third phase, from 2008 to present, funding from NERC was directed through the OCEANS2025 program and latterly through UK National Capability. During this phase, cruises switched from bi-annual to annual, taking place during the boreal autumn (austral spring). A summary of the annual and seasonal coverage of AMT cruises is given in Figure 2. Throughout the lifetime of the AMT program the objectives have evolved to address topical research questions whilst enabling the maintenance of a continuous set of observations relevant to global issues that are raised throughout the most recent IPCC assessment (Rhein et al., 2013) and UK environmental strategy.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Atlantic Ocean
Subjects: Atmospheric Sciences
Earth Observation - Remote Sensing
Ecology and Environment
Marine Sciences
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Atlantic Meridional Transect
Depositing User: Andy Rees
Date made live: 04 Jul 2017 14:30
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 09:58

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