Observing and Understanding the Ocean below Antarctic Sea Ice and Ice Shelves (OASIIS)

OASIIS is a working group of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO).

SOOS facilitated the development of this working group within POGO. 

The core goal of OASIIS is to develop a detailed implementation plan for an under-ice observing system, including definition of quantitative sampling requirements and identification of leaders (teams) to take implementation of key elements of the observing system forward. For detailed information on what this working group will do, download the POGO proposal here.


Understanding the interactions between the Southern Ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere is fundamental to our understanding of global climate, biogeochemical cycles, biological productivity and sea-level rise. Despite this global imperative, the ocean beneath the Antarctic sea ice and ice shelves remains one of the least observed physical systems on the planet. This has limited our progress in understanding air-ice-ocean interactions and their sensitivity to climate change. The only way to fill this gap - the largest ‘blind spot’ in the global ocean observing system – is an internationally coordinated, integrated and circumpolar under-ice observing system in the Southern Ocean.

A “truly global” ocean observing system must include observations of the ocean beneath Antarctic sea ice and ice shelves as these are of critical importance to understanding the impacts of climate change on society. For example, the greatest uncertainty in future sea-level rise is the contribution from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets. We now know that the fate of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is directly coupled to changes in the surrounding ocean. The Southern Ocean takes up vast amounts of anthropogenic heat and carbon dioxide, helping to slow the rate of climate change, but the future of the Southern Ocean sinks are uncertain. Changes in Southern Ocean sea ice, circulation and chemistry (e.g. acidification) will affect Southern Ocean ecosystems and fisheries and alter nutrient transports with impacts on global productivity. There is increasing demand for short-term ocean forecasts and seasonal predictions that depend on assimilation of observations from the high latitude oceans. Effective policy to mitigate and adapt to climate change requires knowledge of how the ocean-ice-atmosphere system will respond to a warming climate. Sustained observations of the Southern Ocean, including the ocean beneath sea-ice and ice shelves are critical to anticipate and respond effectively to these societal challenges.


OASIIS has open membership. If you are interested to be involved in OASIIS efforts, please contact Esmee van Wijk

Current membership includes:

Emsee van Wijk CSIRO, Australia WG Co-Chair
Richard Coleman IMAS, Australia WG Co-Chair
Pierre Dutrieux LDEO, USA WG Lead
Laura H-Borreguero NOC, UK WG Lead
Alex Brearley BAS, UK WG Lead
Mike Meredith BAS, UK POGO-SOOS
Oscar Schofield Rutgers, USA SOOS
Olaf Boebel AWI, Germany Acoustics
Susan Wijffels CSIRO, Australia  Argo
Steve Rintoul CSIRO, Australia  Circulation
Ben Galton-Fenzi AAD, Australia SORP, Ice Shelf
Jiuxin Shi OUC, China SORP
Sebastiaan Swart  UGot, Sweden SOFLUX
Anna Wahlin UGot, Sweden Ice Shelf 







  1. Proposal to POGO for development of OASIIS as a POGO Working Group
  2. International strategy for under ice observations "Seeing Below the Ice"

OASIIS Workshop, Bremerhaven, Germany, 14-17 June 2017


The OASIIS meeting will be held at the Atlantic Hotel Sail City, Am Strom 1, Bremerhaven, Germany. See the accommodation section below for links to maps and how to get there. The Atlantic Hotel Sail City is located a short distance away from the Alfred-Wegener Institute, who have kindly agreed to be the local hosts for this meeting.

The meeting will be held over three days (14-16th June 2017) with a fourth day for the development of the manuscript (17th June 2017). Days 1 to 3 will feature themed talks and discussion with Day 4 reserved for the drafting of the manuscript.



Registration for the meeting is now open. Please register here by 14 April 2017.


If you would like to attend but have not received an invitation please contact the meeting organisers to discuss. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Confirmed Workshop Participants:

Richard Coleman (co-Working Group Lead)
Esmee van Wijk (co-Working Group Lead)
Laura Herraiz-Borreguero (Steering Team)
Pierre Dutrieux (Steering Team)
Alex Brearley (Steering Team)
Mike Meredith
Craig Lee
Steve Rintoul
Seb Swart
Louise Newman
Svein Osterhus
Lars Boehme
Karen Heywood
Steve Riser
Mike Williams
Sanghoon Lee
Alberto Naveira Garabato
Mauritio Mata
Jean-Baptiste Sallee
Ben Galton-Fenzi
Dan Costa
Jiuxin Shi
Giorgio Budillon
Olaf Boebel

Mario Hoppmann
David Holland

Stefanie Arndt

Xyler Asay-Davis

Marcel Babin

Sandra Barreira

Parli V Bhaskar

Jacob Buffo

Laura De Steur

Alexander Forrest

Jamin Greenbaum

Christian Haas

Hartmut Hellmer

Laura Herraiz-Borreguero

Jordan Hisel

Justin Lawrence

Sanghoon Lee

Clara Manno

Mauricio Mata

Matthew Meister

Yoshihiro Nakayama

Kay Ohshima

Svein Osterhus

Eric Rehm

Eric Rignot

Steve Riser

Hanne Sagen

Ted Scambos

Britney Schmidt

Michael Schodlok

Hanumant Singh

Inga Smith

Tim Stanton

Craig Stevens

Volker Strass

Ilsa van Opzeeland

Irena Vankova

Peter Wadhams

Anna Wahlin

Roland Warner













Workshop Objective:


The goal of the meeting is to develop a community-led implementation plan for an under-ice observing system, including quantitative design requirements and identification of leaders (teams) to take implementation of key elements of the observing system forward. The workshop also aims to facilitate collaboration and planning for future joint field programs.


Articulating a strong case to the community for an under-ice observing system with clear steps as to how this might be realized, and the societal benefits, will enable scientists/national programs to approach funders with a clear rationale and justification for funding field campaigns, observational infrastructure and technology/capability development.


Over the past decade, technological advancements in ocean observing mean we now have the capability to observe beneath the Antarctic sea-ice and ice shelves. Rapid development of technology into the future will allow us to expand upon this core capability and enhance under-ice observations even further. The workshop will outline how we can effectively use existing platforms to form the backbone of an under-ice observing system as well as identifying important new technologies/sensors and how to advance them.



The meeting focus is on the ocean extending from the winter maximum sea-ice edge to the Antarctic coast (or grounding line). Interactions between the ocean beneath sea ice and beneath glacial ice (ice shelves, glacier tongues) are included. The workshop is focused primarily on the physics (sustained observations, regional pilots/process studies and model-data synthesis) however synergies with chemistry and biology (productivity, biogeochemistry, benthic and sea ice ecology) will be highlighted through featured talks.



The meeting dinner will be held on Thursday 15th June. The cost for the dinner is approx 30-40 Euro (including drinks). Attendees will need to cover this cost themselves. Please indicate at registration if you plan to attend the dinner. 


Bremerhaven’s climate is classified as warm and temperate. Average daily temperatures in June are around 14°C/57°F with lows of 9°C/48°F and highs of 19°C/66°F. 

Further logistical information:

Getting There:

The OASIIS meeting will be held in Bremerhaven, Germany at the ATLANTIC hotel Sail City.  The closest airport is in the city of Bremen, see Bremen Airport: http://www.bremenairport.com/


Direct flights to Bremen are possible from Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London (both City and Stansted).


From Bremen Airport you can either take a taxi (approx. € 80) or the train (https://www.vbn.de/) to Bremerhaven.



Travel between the OASIIS and FRISP conferences 



The 2017 OASIIS meeting is sponsored by:


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