Southern Ocean


The Program for India’s research activities in the Southern Ocean realm primarily underlines the sensitivity of the Southern Ocean region to climatic variability and its importance in our understanding the global environment. In pursuance of this, NCPOR, on behalf of MoES took a lead role in organizing a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional pilot expedition to the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean during January-March 2004. In continuation of the studies initiated during this Pilot Expedition, another multi-disciplinary endeavor in the Southern Ocean was taken up as a part during a Special Expedition to the new Indian base in the Larsemann Hills during January-March 2006 onboard a Russian chartered research vessel “Akademik Boris Petrov”.

The success of these two initial endeavours prompted the Ministry to embark on a major national initiative of planning, co-ordinating and implementing multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional scientific programmes in the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern Ocean. To date, five such expeditions have been successfully undertaken (including the two initial endavors). Several national research institutions such as IMD, IITM, SPL, IISc, NIO-Kochi, FSI, CMFRI, SAC, PRL, NHO, KBCAOS, CMLRE, NIOT, and NCP

OR and universities such as JNU, Annamalai, Goa, CUSAT, Karnataka and Gujarat have been active participants in these expeditions

a) Objectives:

  1. To understand the dynamics of the southern ocean, such as, current structure and variability; intra-annual and inter-annual variability of Antarctic Circum Polar Current and surface currents; geostrophic currents; thermohaline circulation; water masses structure; mixing process; mesoscale perturbations.
  2. Biogeochemical fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, silica and iron in the Southern Ocean and their influence on the trophic structure.
  3. To document factors and processes which regulate the variability of primary productivity as well as fate of the biogenic material.
  4. Past climate and oceanic variability.
  5. Reassessment of ‘Iron limitation hypothesis’ and a comprehensive study on the role of iron in mediating biogenic processes with respect to CO2 fluxes.
  6. Southern Ocean carbon process.
  7. To carry out detailed isotopic, chemical and micropaleontological studies on the sediments from the Southern Ocean to decipher their response and feedback to past climate changes.
  8. Hydrodynamics of the coastal Antarctica.

b) Participating Institutions:

National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research, Goa

c) Implementation Plans:

All the aspects related the planning, co-ordnation and implementation of the scientific and logistics aspects related to the multi-institutional Indian Scientific endeavors in the Southern Ocean realm shall be undertaken by NCPOR on behalf of the Ministry

The proposals will be invited from universities, Survey Organizations and Other institutes involved in the Oceanographic studies, examined by a Group of Expert, and then shortlisted as per the theme of the Expedition.

d) Deliverables:

The multi-institutional national mission of scientific studies in the Southern Ocean realm would be providing an exhaustive database which could throw light on several as yet-unanswered questions related to the dynamics of the southern ocean, the biogeochemical fluxes of carbon, nitrogen, silica and iron and their influence on the trophic structure, the role of the Southern Ocean in modulating the global climate etc

e) Budget Requirement : 87 Crores

(Rs. In crores)

Budget Requirement
Name of the Scheme2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17Total
Southern Ocean16.0022.0015.0020.0014.0087.00


Last Updated On 08/14/2018 - 10:40
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