The CTD Rosette is one of the major pieces of lab equipment that we have on aboard the Point Sur. The CTD Rosette measures the water’s conductivity, temperature, and density. Additional sensors have been added that will also record oxygen, florescence, and pH levels. The CTD travels as deep as 1,500m, but will take different readings at the preset depths needed by the scientists. When the CTD reaches that specific depth, one of the grey chambers (niskin bottles) will open, fill and close with water from that depth in the water column.
Shaojie and I getting the CTD ready to drop in to the Gulf.
Lindsay and Shaojie watching the CTD drop to 1,500m.
A thumbs up for success.
Lindsay, from NOVA Southeastern University, is interested in the filtered microbes that are found in the water. These microbes are used by the anglerfish to “light up” their lure through bioluminescent. She would like to draw the connection between where and how the anglerfish acquire the bacteria in the water, since the anglerfish is not born with it.
Lindsay in the lab.
Shaojie, from University of South Florida College of Marine Science, uses the CTD for other readings. He is interested in the chlorophyll levels that are only found in the top 2 levels of the targeted depth. He is using the data to help Travis get an idea of the amount of phytoplankton in the water.
Shaojie in the lab.
To demonstrate the crushing pressure of the depths below the surface, we tied a bag of Styrofoam cups the CTD before it was deployed to 1,500m. At that depth the weight of the water that is above the CTD is so heavy that is causes pressure changes. The pressure shrunk our Styrofoam cups and turned them into “mini-cups”. We all took the time to create souvenirs for our friends and family. I think it is a really cool souvenir from a place so deep in the ocean!
Cups before they were lowered to the depths below.
Look how much they shrunk!
On each side is a cup that was not lowered into the Gulf.
Chris Valdes, Teacher at Sea