By the students from the Floating Summer School |
Ahoy from Polarstern! We have finished our work in the Baye of Biskaye and around the Ampere Seamount. The weather conditions have been surprisingly good and we are beginning to get our sea legs.
Life is buzzing on board, not only in the labs and lecture rooms but also in our petri dishes. Zoo- and phytoplankton in all its different shapes and colours amazes us every day. But how will this composition of plankton communities change during our cruise? The latter covers, however, more than 7,000 nautical miles from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere.
In order to answer these and further questions and to find good explanations for the patterns we find, we deploy a range of sampling and measuring equipment to profile the water column. These include the Expendable Bathythermographs (XBT) and the Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) rosette, to monitor the physio-chemical parameters and to sample the water body. A RAMSES spectrometer was used for optical measurements with which we are able to compute the reflectance of the ocean surface. We also deployed the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) and different types of phyto- and zooplankton nets, which were processed in the laboratory for analysis of plankton community composition in order to determine the productivity at each station.
In addition, we gained insights into the operation of multi-beam echo-sounders for the mapping of the sea floor and the deployment of the weather balloons from the German Weather Service (DWD – Deutscher Wetterdienst) for the monitoring of atmospheric weather conditions.
Next time we will report about the mountains of the deep sea. So, expect an interesting and exciting blog.
Time to process the sample of today!
Until the next station,
the students from the Floating Summer School