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Time Integrated Exposure of Sea Ice to Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)

Understanding the flow of solar energy into ecosystems is fundamental to understanding ecosystem productivity and dynamics. To gain a better understanding of this fundamental process in the Antarctic winter sea ice we produced a model that estimates the time-integrated exposure of seasonal Antarctic sea ice to PAR through the use of remotely sensed sea ice concentrations, sea ice movement and spatially distributed PAR calculations that account for cloud cover and have applied this model over the past three decades. The resulting spatially distributed estimates of sea ice exposure to PAR by mid-winter are evaluated in context of changes in the timing of sea ice formation that have been documented along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region and its potential effects on the variation (seasonal and inter-annual) in the accumulation of sea ice algae in this region. The analysis of the model output was published in Fritsen et al. (2011). The data derived using the model and related metadata can be downloaded using the following links:


Data Summary


Fritsen CH, Memmott JC, Ross RM, Quetin LB, Vernet M and Wirthlin ED (2010) The timing of sea ice formation and exposure to photosynthetically active radiation along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biol:1-10. doi: 10.1007/s00300-010-0924-7.  

Euphausia superba larvae
West of the Antarctic Peninsula

One of the goals of the investigators was to retrieve, conduct quality assurance and quality control, and analyze several historical data sets for use in the formulation of the individual-based-model (IBM) for larval Antarctic krill. These data sets were collected by L.B. Quetin and R.M. Ross of the Marine Science Institute, University of California, CA on multiple research cruises during fall and winter west of the Antarctic Peninsula between the 1987 and 2002. Data collection was funded by the NSF-Office of Polar Programs. The data available here are intended for scholarly use by the research community, with the express understanding that data users will properly acknowledge the originating investigator. As manuscripts including these data are in progress, please  contact the investigators ( or to eliminate duplicate efforts.

Dataset description Metadata Word doc Data files

1) ingestion rates of larval Antarctic krill under varying food concentrations and two temperatures

doc data files
2) condition factor larval Antarctic krill collected during 12 cruises during the austral fall and winter doc data files
3) total length and wet weight of larval Antarctic krill from 6 cruises during the austral fall and winter
doc data files