Vast areas of the polar oceans freeze over each year. The resulting sea ice lies at the interface between the ocean and the atmosphere, modifying the Earth’s energy balance, surface water properties, and gas exchange processes. Sea ice also provides a unique habitat for a variety of microorganisms, from viruses to algae. Understanding the processes occurring at the ocean-ice-atmosphere interfaces is key to understanding polar climate. 

The Roland von Glasow air-sea-ice chamber, named in honor of its late founder, allows users to simulate sea ice growth and decay in a controlled environment. The facility is a 2.4 m x 1.4 m x 1 m (deep) open glass tank, lit with visible and UV lights housed in a cold-room with a +30 to -55 °C temperature range. The tank can be filled with artificial or natural seawater, and can be capped with a Teflon sheet to reproduce an experimental atmosphere.
Thanks to a unique enclosed ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere system, the facility allows simultaneous sampling and monitoring of the ocean, sea ice and atmosphere. Physical, chemical, and biological experiments can be performed using the suite of instruments and equipment provided by the Roland von Glasow air-sea-ice chamber. 
For further details please contact Prof. Dr Jan Kaiser.

Instrument suite

The following range of equipment is available permanently in the facility, and can be supplemented by collaborators.

“Ocean” instrumentation:

  • MicroCAT CTD (conductivity, temperature) 
  • Two micro CTDs
  • Mechanical and UV filtration system, capable of overturning the water every 2 hours
  • Controllable aquarium circulation pumps and wave generator
  • Underwater camera system (with LED light)

“Sea Ice” instrumentation:

  • In-ice pressure (2 cm resolution)
  • In-ice temperature chains (1 cm resolution)
  • In-ice UV-Vis light transmission (3 cm resolution)
  • In situ solid fraction and bulk salinity profiles (1 cm resolution) using principles outlined in Notz et al. (2005)

 “Atmosphere” instrumentation:

  • Field deployable met station, with humidity and precipitation
  • Pt-100 temperature probes for measuring the air temperature around the chamber
  • 2π spectroradiometer, measures incoming UV-Vis radiation and converts to photolysis frequencies in near real time
  • NO, NO2, NOy, O3 by Teledyne chemiluminescence instruments
  • CH4, CO2 and water vapour by LGR Greenhouse Gas Analyser