- Start date: 1 May 2017
- End date: 30 November 2018
- Funder: NERC
- Primary investigator: Dr Tracy Aze
The regions of the world’s oceans that border Antarctica, are critical for modulating the Earth’s climate, firstly, due to the largely unhindered transit of ocean currents (Antarctic circumpolar current, ACC) that circle and thermally isolate the Antarctic continent, enabling the continued maintenance of large continental ice sheets. Secondly, a permanent thermocline extends to the ocean surface within the Subtropical Convergence (STC) in this region.
Consequently, this is a region of high biological productivity causing mixing of micronutrient-rich subtropical waters (STW) with macronutrient-rich subantarctic waters (SAW). As such the STC is a highly important sink for atmospheric CO2 due to high levels of primary productivity. This project aims to generate biostratographic records and high-resolution isotope stratigraphy and investigate the tectonic evolution and regional palaeoceanography in the Hikurangi Trough.