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COMPASS: Climate-relevant Ocean Measurements and Processes on the Antarctic continental Shelf and Slope

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "COMPASS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: NR4 7TJ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 3˙499˙270 €
 EC max contribution 3˙499˙270 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-09-01   to  2022-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA UK (NORWICH) coordinator 3˙499˙270.00


 Project objective

Processes on the Antarctic continental shelf and slope are crucially important for determining the rate of future sea level rise, setting the properties and volume of dense bottom water exported globally, and regulating the carbon cycle. Yet our ability to model and predict these processes over future decades remains rudimentary. This deficiency in understanding originates in a lack of observations in this inaccessible region. The COMPASS project seeks to rectify that by exploiting new technology - autonomous marine vehicles called gliders - to observe, quantify and elucidate processes on the continental shelf and slope of Antarctica that are important for climate.

The COMPASS objective is to make a step-change in our quantitative understanding of: (i) the ocean front that marks the boundary between the Antarctic continental shelf and the open ocean, and its associated current system; (ii) the interaction between ocean, atmosphere and sea-ice on the Antarctic continental shelf; and (iii) the exchange of heat, salt and freshwater with the cavities beneath ice shelves.

These goals will be met by a series of targeted ocean glider campaigns around Antarctica, spanning different flow regimes, including areas where warm water is able to access the continental shelf and influence ice shelves, areas where the continental shelf is cold and fresh, and areas where the continental shelf hosts cold, salty, dense water that eventually spills into the abyss. A unique circumpolar assessment of ocean properties and dynamics, including instabilities and mixing, will be undertaken. COMPASS will develop new technology to deploy a profiling glider into inaccessible environments such as Antarctic polynyas (regions of open water surrounded by sea-ice). As well as scientific breakthroughs that will feed into future climate assessments, improving projections of future sea level rise and global temperatures, COMPASS will deliver enhanced design for future ocean observing systems.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Andrew F. Thompson, Andrew L. Stewart, Paul Spence, Karen J. Heywood
The Antarctic Slope Current in a Changing Climate
published pages: 741-770, ISSN: 8755-1209, DOI: 10.1029/2018rg000624
Reviews of Geophysics 56/4 2019-06-06

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The information about "COMPASS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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