DynAMo – Dynamic impact of ice mass loss in the Andes on terrestrial, limnic and marine ecosystems 


Scientists and marine engineers from Germany, Argentina and Chile are collaborating in the infrastructure project DynAMo (BMBF LAT16STRUC-039) to form a concept for a marine-terrestrial observation system for the Beagle Channel and adjacent regions of the Andes mountain chain (Cordillera Darwin). Due to rapid climate change in southern Patagonia and the West Antarctic, the Andes glaciers are on the decline and the marine ecosystems are changing under the influence of meltwater. At the same time, the population is growing in southern Argentina and Chile resulting in enhanced domestic and industrial wastewater release and pollution. Demands for human usage in an area previously considered as untouched and pristine are increasing fast and sustainable management of the coastal ecosystems is required. The project partners are therefore collaborating with local fishery organizations and artisanal aquaculture companies.

Scientists of the AWI, the Universities of Oldenburg and Erlangen-Nuernberg, as well as of the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea in Wilhelmshaven work with colleagues from Argentina (CADIC, Ushuaia) and Chile (IDEAL Center, Valdivia) to develop an observation system for the entire Beagle Channel. The aim is to analyze and document the ecosystem status to allow for sustainable management in the future.

This project has three components: 

  •  Meteorology and glacier mass balance in adjacent areas of the Andes
  •  Hydrography, nutrients, and productivity of the water column
  •  Biodiversity, species shifts and environmental risks (occurrence of toxic algal blooms)

With this collaboration we create observational capacities in a coastal area with a big knowledge gap for environmental data and strongly impacted by global warming. Melting glaciers in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic regions affect the global climate and cause sea level rise. Therefore, collectively operated observation networks not only help the local population but also make an important contribution to the understanding of global climate change in coastal research.

DynAMo Workshop, April 2018 in Ushuaia, Argentina