Southern Ocean GasEx Blog

Dispatches from the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment

SAMI I am

Posted by sogasex on February 27, 2008

By Mike DeGrandpre, University of Montana

Performing research at sea is challenging. Collecting water samples on the deck of a rolling ship is no easy task. Your concentration can be rattled by frequent trips to the rail and even if you don’t pray to Neptune, facing a box full of samples to analyze during a 12+ hour shift can make your stomach turn. That’s why our group develops autonomous sensors. When the Brown departs in two days, I’ll be waving good-bye from the pier, having set up our autonomous CO2 and pH instruments for deployment after the ship reaches the field site.

The SAMIs (Submersible Autonomous Moored Instruments) will be deployed on NOAA’s MAP-CO2 buoy, developed by Chris Sabine’s group at NOAA-PMEL (see drawing below). While the scientists onboard will be hanging onto their bunks amidst the high winds and large waves characteristic of the Southern Ocean, the MAP-CO2 buoy will continue merrily collecting data. The Southern Ocean is one of the largest sinks for atmospheric CO2 and the data that we collect will allow us to determine the natural processes that control CO2 cycling in this globally important region.

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Mike DeGrandpre holding a SAMI

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Drawing of a MAP-CO2 buoy

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