Site holds promise for ecosystem and biogeochemical investigations

Authors

  • Thomas W. Trull,

    1. Antarctic CRC, University of Tasmania, Hobart, 7001, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • John A. E. Gibson,

    1. CSIRO Marine Research, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, 7001, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Karin L. Beaumont,

  • John Bowman,

  • Harry R. Burton,

  • Andrew T. Davidson,

  • Antoine Guichard,

  • John M. Kirkwood,

  • Andrew McMinn,

  • Peter D. Nichols,

  • Jenny H. Skerratt,

  • Roger E. Summons,

  • Kerrie M. Swadling,

  • John K. Volkman


Abstract

Ellis Fjord, located in the Vestfold Hills of East Antarctica (68.5°S, 78°E), exhibits a range of environments, from essentially marine at its sea-ward end, to permanently stratified basins with hypersaline brines at its inland end. The drainage basin of the fjord contains small areas of mosses and lichens, but no higher plants, and supplies fresh water to the fjord in ephemeral summer melt streams. Direct anthropogenic inputs are negligible or non-existent, as are those from other mammals and birds. The fjord exhibits unusual biological and chemical properties, and offers the opportunity to study oceanic processes in isolation and at small scales. It also has the logistical advantage of proximity to the facilities of Australia's year-round Davis research station.

Ancillary