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Hunting the Dust - Blog

Madeira Basin 18-21.04

22.04.11, 20:09 (comments: 0)

Now we are in the working area, in the middle of the subtropical Northeast Atlantic at 33°N, 22°W. The water depth here is 5200m. We have spent the last couple of days around this position and were carrying out some work in the water column using a series of different instruments. One, which is used very often, is called CTD (see picture). CTD stands for conductivity, temperature and depth. It is used to measure vertical profiles of those parameters with a resolution of few centimetres. This time the CTD is connected to a 24-bottle rosette which allows us to bring water from selected depth to the surface. This water is used then for analyses of nutrients, suspended particulate matter, particulate organic carbon and chlorophyll a, which are prepared in the laboratory on board. The final chemical analyses are carried out back home after the cruise. On the CTD we have also sensors to measure the oxygen concentration, fluorescence and turbidity in the entire water column. Unfortunately, this time we have not really optimum weather conditions for our work. At the transect to the Madeira Basin we had strong wind with more than  27m/s almost the entire time, the sea was rough. Some of us got sea sick, but now everyone is ok again, as the weather conditions improved a bit. From now on we are working in shifts around the clock seven days a week, but no worries social life on board is not coming short.

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