Rothera Oceanographic and Biological Time Series (RaTS)

RaTS Home Background and Rationale Measurements and Data Results and Archive Associated Projects Signy

 CTD cast conducted through sea ice as part of the regular Rothera Time Series (RaTS) water column profiling.


The Rothera Oceanographic and Biological Time Series (RaTS) started in 1997, operating out of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research station at Rothera Point on Adelaide Island, at the West Antarctic Peninsula. RaTS is centred on Ryder Bay, a small embayment close to Rothera.  The ethos of RaTS is to make high-frequency, sustained observations with which to answer a number of scientific questions relating to the physical and biological marine environments, their evolution over time, and their interactions with the atmosphere and cryosphere. As such, the RaTS concept is a development and an extension of our previous nearshore marine ecology and sea-ice monitoring work undertaken at Signy Island, South Orkneys, from 1989 to 1994.

The specific aims of RaTS are:-

Location of Marguerite Bay at the Western Antarctic Peninsula (left), and location of Ryder Bay close to Rothera Research Station (right).

Structure and organisation

RaTS is a major component of BAS' long-term monitoring and survey initiative, and is coordinated through the BAS Polar Oceans programme. It has strong links with the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research (Pal-LTER) program, conducted by U.S. colleagues, and is a component of the OceanSITES global oceanographic time series programme.

Since its inception, RaTS has been managed by Andrew Clarke. The physical oceanography is overseen by Mike Meredith, and the long-term reproductive output is undertaken by Lloyd Peck in collaboration with Paul Tyler (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton). Data are held in a relational database, managed by Helen Peat. Hugh Venables is a recent addition to the RaTS team, with expertise in physical oceanography and biogeochemistry. During his time at BAS, Mark Brandon was a strong contributor to the RaTS programme, and remains a friend of RaTS at the Open University.

Field data collection is undertaken year-round by marine assistants wintering at Rothera. Since the start of RaTS, these have been:-


[ back to top... ]