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Article

New Cost-Effective Technologies Applied to the Study of the Glacier Melting Influence on Physical and Biological Processes in Kongsfjorden Area (Svalbard)

1
Laboratory of Experimental Oceanology and Marine Ecology, Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, University of Tuscia, Molo Vespucci, Porto di Civitavecchia, 00053 Civitavecchia (RM), Italy
2
Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Via Augusto Imperatore, 16, 73100 Lecce, Italy
3
CNR-INM, National Research Council, Institute of Marine Engineering, Via de Marini 6, 16149 Genova, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(8), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080593
Received: 25 June 2020 / Revised: 31 July 2020 / Accepted: 5 August 2020 / Published: 8 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Instruments for Marine Research)
The Arctic region is greatly affected by climate change, with evident alterations in both physical and biological processes: temperatures are changing at a rate that is twice the global average and phytoplankton productivity is directly affected by ice melting. Continuous monitoring of this ecosystem is fundamental to gain greater understanding of the impact of changes on the natural environment, but the Global Ocean Observing System only provides partial coverage in these extreme areas, which are particularly difficult to reach. Technological progress in oceanographic measurement capabilities is indispensable for the implementation of marine observatories, especially in these remote regions. In recent years, autonomous systems and cost-effective technologies have proved to be valuable for increasing spatial and temporal coverage of data. This is the case with the innovative ArLoC (Arctic Low-Cost) probe, which was designed and developed for easy integration into various types of platforms, enabling continuous measurement of temperature, pressure and fluorescence of chlorophyll a. This work reports on the results of two scientific campaigns carried out in Kongsfjorden (Svalbard Islands) in 2018 in the framework of the UVASS (Unmanned Vehicles for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling) research project. The ArLoC probe was integrated onboard the PROTEUS (Portable RObotic TEchnology for Unmanned Surveys) unmanned semi-submersible vehicle and this allowed us to collect important data in the stretches of sea near tidewater glacier fronts. The acquired data showed several significant effects of glacier melting such as: high temperature and salinity gradients, which cause considerable variations in water mass stratification, and an increase in turbidity and the chlorophyll a concentration, which directly affects primary productivity and the trophic chain. During the surveys, ArLoC proved to be an easy-to-integrate, very reliable instrument, which permitted high spatial resolution investigation of ecological processes during glacier melting as never studied before. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arctic Ocean; low-cost technology; tidewater glaciers; temperatures; chlorophyll a fluorescence Arctic Ocean; low-cost technology; tidewater glaciers; temperatures; chlorophyll a fluorescence
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pasculli, L.; Piermattei, V.; Madonia, A.; Bruzzone, G.; Caccia, M.; Ferretti, R.; Odetti, A.; Marcelli, M. New Cost-Effective Technologies Applied to the Study of the Glacier Melting Influence on Physical and Biological Processes in Kongsfjorden Area (Svalbard). J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 593. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080593

AMA Style

Pasculli L, Piermattei V, Madonia A, Bruzzone G, Caccia M, Ferretti R, Odetti A, Marcelli M. New Cost-Effective Technologies Applied to the Study of the Glacier Melting Influence on Physical and Biological Processes in Kongsfjorden Area (Svalbard). Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2020; 8(8):593. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080593

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pasculli, Lorenzo, Viviana Piermattei, Alice Madonia, Gabriele Bruzzone, Massimo Caccia, Roberta Ferretti, Angelo Odetti, and Marco Marcelli. 2020. "New Cost-Effective Technologies Applied to the Study of the Glacier Melting Influence on Physical and Biological Processes in Kongsfjorden Area (Svalbard)" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 8, no. 8: 593. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080593

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