Observing and Understanding the Ocean below Antarctic Sea Ice and Ice Shelves (OASIIS)

OASIIS is a working group of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO).

SOOS facilitated the development of this working group within POGO. 

The core goal of OASIIS is to develop a detailed implementation plan for an under-ice observing system, including definition of quantitative sampling requirements and identification of leaders (teams) to take implementation of key elements of the observing system forward. For detailed information on what this working group will do, download the POGO proposal here.


Understanding the interactions between the Southern Ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere is fundamental to our understanding of global climate, biogeochemical cycles, biological productivity and sea-level rise. Despite this global imperative, the ocean beneath the Antarctic sea ice and ice shelves remains one of the least observed physical systems on the planet. This has limited our progress in understanding air-ice-ocean interactions and their sensitivity to climate change. The only way to fill this gap - the largest ‘blind spot’ in the global ocean observing system – is an internationally coordinated, integrated and circumpolar under-ice observing system in the Southern Ocean.

A “truly global” ocean observing system must include observations of the ocean beneath Antarctic sea ice and ice shelves as these are of critical importance to understanding the impacts of climate change on society. For example, the greatest uncertainty in future sea-level rise is the contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. We now know that the fate of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is directly coupled to changes in the surrounding ocean. The Southern Ocean takes up vast amounts of anthropogenic heat and carbon dioxide, helping to slow the rate of climate change, but the future of the Southern Ocean sinks are uncertain. Changes in Southern Ocean sea ice, circulation and chemistry (e.g. acidification) will affect Southern Ocean ecosystems and fisheries and alter nutrient transports with impacts on global productivity. There is increasing demand for short-term ocean forecasts and seasonal predictions that depend on assimilation of observations from the high latitude oceans. Effective policy to mitigate and adapt to climate change requires knowledge of how the ocean-ice-atmosphere system will respond to a warming climate. Sustained observations of the Southern Ocean, including the ocean beneath sea-ice and ice shelves are critical to anticipate and respond effectively to these societal challenges.


OASIIS has open membership. If you are interested to be involved in OASIIS efforts, please contact Esmee van Wijk

Current membership includes:

Emsee van Wijk CSIRO, Australia WG Co-Chair
Richard Coleman IMAS, Australia WG Co-Chair
Pierre Dutrieux LDEO, USA WG Lead
Laura H-Borreguero NOC, UK WG Lead
Alex Brearley BAS, UK WG Lead
Mike Meredith BAS, UK POGO-SOOS
Oscar Schofield Rutgers, USA SOOS
Olaf Boebel AWI, Germany Acoustics
Susan Wijffels CSIRO, Australia  Argo
Steve Rintoul CSIRO, Australia  Circulation
Ben Galton-Fenzi AAD, Australia SORP, Ice Shelf
Jiuxin Shi OUC, China SORP
Sebastiaan Swart  UGot, Sweden SOFLUX
Anna Wahlin UGot, Sweden Ice Shelf 







  1. Proposal to POGO for development of OASIIS as a POGO Working Group
  2. International strategy for under ice observations "Seeing Below the Ice"

OASIIS Workshop, Bremerhaven, Germany, 14-17 June 2017


The OASIIS meeting will be held at the Atlantic Hotel Sail City, Am Strom 1, Bremerhaven, Germany. See the accommodation section below for links to maps and how to get there. The Atlantic Hotel Sail City is located a short distance away from the Alfred-Wegener Institute, who have kindly agreed to be the local hosts for this meeting.

The meeting will be held over three days (14-16th June 2017) with a fourth day for the development of the manuscript (17th June 2017). Days 1 to 3 will feature themed talks and discussion with Day 4 reserved for the drafting of the manuscript.



Registration for the meeting has now closed. 



View the full agenda here


View the abstracts here



An Icebreaker event will be held on 13 June, 7-10pm at Villa Seebeck. Drinks and finger food will be served. Additional food can be purchased separately at the bar.

View a map with directions to Villa Seebeck from the Atlantic Hotel Sail City here



A dinner for the meeting will be held on 15 June, 7:00pm at Seute Deern. The cost for the dinner is approximately 30-40 Euro (including drinks). Attendees will need to cover this cost themselves. Please indicate at registration whether or not you plan to attend the dinner. 

View a map with directions to Seute Deern from the Atlantic Hotel Sail City here


Confirmed Workshop Participants:

Richard Coleman

Alberto Naveira Garabato

Marcel Babin

Esmee van Wijk

Mauritio Mata

Sandra Barreira

Laura Herraiz-Borreguero

Jean-Baptiste Sallee

Parli V Bhaskar

Pierre Dutrieux

David Gwyther

Jacob Buffo

Alex Brearley

Carmen Boening 

Laura De Steur

Craig Lee

Louise Biddle

Alexander Forrest

Steve Rintoul

Paul Chamberlain

Jamin Greenbaum

Seb Swart

Dan Costa

Christian Haas

Louise Newman

Jiuxin Shi

Hartmut Hellmer

Svein Osterhus

Giorgio Budillon

Laura Herraiz-Borreguero

Lars Boehme

Olaf Boebel

Jordan Hisel

Karen Heywood

Mario Hoppmann

Justin Lawrence

Steve Riser

David Holland

Sanghoon Lee

Mike Williams

Stefanie Arndt

Clara Manno

Sanghoon Lee

Xyler Asay-Davis

Mauricio Mata

Matthew Meister

Yoshihiro Nakayama

Kay Ohshima

Eric Rehm

Eric Rignot

Steve Riser

Hanne Sagen

Ted Scambos

Britney Schmidt

Michael Schodlok

Hanumant Singh

Inga Smith

Tim Stanton

Craig Stevens

Volker Strass

Ilsa van Opzeeland

Irena Vankova

Anna Wahlin

Roland Warner




Workshop Objective:


The goal of the meeting is to develop a community-led implementation plan for an under-ice observing system, including quantitative design requirements and identification of leaders (teams) to take implementation of key elements of the observing system forward. The workshop also aims to facilitate collaboration and planning for future joint field programs.


Articulating a strong case to the community for an under-ice observing system with clear steps as to how this might be realized, and the societal benefits, will enable scientists/national programs to approach funders with a clear rationale and justification for funding field campaigns, observational infrastructure and technology/capability development.


Over the past decade, technological advancements in ocean observing mean we now have the capability to observe beneath the Antarctic sea-ice and ice shelves. Rapid development of technology into the future will allow us to expand upon this core capability and enhance under-ice observations even further. The workshop will outline how we can effectively use existing platforms to form the backbone of an under-ice observing system as well as identifying important new technologies/sensors and how to advance them.



The meeting focus is on the ocean extending from the winter maximum sea-ice edge to the Antarctic coast (or grounding line). Interactions between the ocean beneath sea ice and beneath glacial ice (ice shelves, glacier tongues) are included. The workshop is focused primarily on the physics (sustained observations, regional pilots/process studies and model-data synthesis) however synergies with chemistry and biology (productivity, biogeochemistry, benthic and sea ice ecology) will be highlighted through featured talks.


Bremerhaven’s climate is classified as warm and temperate. Average daily temperatures in June are around 14°C/57°F with lows of 9°C/48°F and highs of 19°C/66°F. 

Further logistical information:

Getting There:

The OASIIS meeting will be held in Bremerhaven, Germany at the ATLANTIC hotel Sail City.  The closest airport is in the city of Bremen, see Bremen Airport: http://www.bremenairport.com/


Direct flights to Bremen are possible from Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London (both City and Stansted).


From Bremen Airport you can either take a taxi (approx. € 80) or the train (https://www.vbn.de/) to Bremerhaven.



Travel between the OASIIS and FRISP conferences 



The 2017 OASIIS meeting is sponsored by:


 AWI logo                                                    


Seeing Below the Ice2014Science Strategies


NameStart DateLocation
Observing and Understanding the Ocean below Antarctic Sea Ice and Ice Shelves (OASIIS)14-06-2017Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany
Copyright 2015 Southern Ocean Observing System. All rights reserved.