Changes in ecosystems after the calving of a giant iceberg


ACE-MIS is a multidisciplinary study aiming at better understanding the physics, biology, and geology of a key region in East Antarctica. As one of the few major areas for production of Antarctic Bottom Water, the Mertz area played a key role in global ocean circulation until the recent calving of a massive 80 km long iceberg from the glacier tongue. This event had profound impacts on regional sea surface conditions, bottom water production and, by snowball effect, on local ecosystems.

The overarching aim of our project will be to survey, in great detail, biological communities, sediments and oceanic conditions within the former polynya area, in locations recently opened up by the calving, but also, and for the first time, from under the Glacier. This will be achieved via the deployment of a combination of state-of-the-art autonomous or remotely operated airborne and under-water vehicles as well as ship borne instruments.


Principal Investigator (PI)

Guillaume Massé

UMI 3376
CNRS and University Laval, Canada


The ACE Mertz Ecosystem and Geosystem Studydistribution at sea

Principal institution / country

  • ISMER – U. Québec à Rimouski (Canada)
  • UMR 7159 LOCEAN – CNRS (France)
  • ACE CRC – U. Tasmania (Australia)
  • Institute of Earth Science – U. Iceland (Iceland)
  • Dept. Geography – Memorial Univ. (Canada)