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Weddell Sea - Dronning Maud Land (WS-DML) Regional Working Group

Co-chairs: Sebastien Moreau and Laura de Steur (NPI), Julian Gutt and Markus Janout (AWI).

Figure 1: SOOS WS-DML regional map illustrating the main sector with subareas of study. In addition, an area of scientific interest for the WS-DML region is illustrated in the east which has overlap with the Indian sector. This additional region covers the eastern extend of the Weddell Gyre.

Figure 1: SOOS WS-DML regional map illustrating the main sector with subareas of study. In addition, an area of scientific interest for the WS-DML region is illustrated in the east which has overlap with the Indian sector. This additional region covers the eastern extend of the Weddell Gyre.

The Weddell Sea - Dronning Maud Land (WS-DML) Regional Working Group of SOOS was established in 2018. The initial co-chairs of this WG are the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Norwegian Polar Institute. The WS-DML Regional Working Group will facilitate coordinated and standardized observational studies of major physical, chemical and biological variables including their drivers and interactions. This refers to a regional but also a circum-Antarctic approach. The WS-DML Working Group will contribute to an increase in quality of the science output and strengthen the awareness of the relevance of research in the WS-DML sector of the Southern Ocean through international projects contributing to the SOOS.

The kick-off workshop of the WS-DML Regional Working Group was organized on 16-17 January 2019 and was hosted by the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø, Norway. Participants from Norway, Germany, South Africa, Brazil, India, Poland and Sweden gathered to discuss scientific priorities and observational programs in this major gyre system of the Southern Ocean. The key objectives of the workshop were to 1) identify the key scientific themes, research gaps and priorities in a SOOS context, 2) share information on the existing and future observational programs in the WS - DML area, 3) subdivide the zone into dedicated SOOS sub-areas of study, and 4) define/describe the wider community which could contribute to the WG.

The workshop resulted in an overview of past, present and future activities including repeat sections. Countries active in the region and responsible for ongoing or newly planned programs and e.g. repeat sections were listed and national representatives of these countries were identified and invited to partake in future activities of the Working Group after the workshop. The WS-DML sector encompasses the area between the Antarctic Peninsula and 20°E (see Figure 1) with an area of interest east of that up to 35°E which overlaps with the Indian sector. The WS-DML sector was subdivided in ice-shelf covered and continental shelf regions, the central Weddell Sea and Maud Rise, and zones that encompass the Subantarctic Front (SAF) and the Polar Front (PF). Since concentration of data is high along the Prime Meridian a set of subareas was chosen to encompass the Meridian and separate subareas east and west of that. Finally, the participants took a joint look at the data portal of SOOS as well as DueSouth to see how well data and cruises were represented there or what was missing. Details can be found in the report of the first workshop in Tromsø at here.

After this first meeting of the Working Group, the next workshop aims to go more in depth in  scientific results and interdisciplinary aspects in the sector. This next WS-DML workshop entitled:"The Southern Ocean in the Weddell Sea and off Dronning Maud Land: unique oceanographic conditions shape circumpolar and global processes." will be organized by AWI in Delmenhorst, Germany, on 28-30 April, 2020. Please find the announcement and details on registration here.

Caption: Collecting physical and chemical data from an ice floe in the southeastern Weddell Gyre during the Dronning Maud Land Ecosystem cruise with RV Kronprins Haakon, Norway. Photo credits: Andreas Wolden (IMR/Kronprins Haakon)

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