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Dispatches from the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment

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The Kitchen Sink

Posted by sogasex on February 26, 2008

By Dave Hebert, University of Rhode Island

The Oregon State and Rhode Island groups have not had much to do so far as our equipment (a 20 foot container and air shipment) is tied up in transit. They were suppose to arrive at the ship a couple of days ago. This afternoon, the air shipment arrive. Finally, we can start setting up our equipment.

Our group will try to close a budget of the carbon in the tagged water patch over the whole time of the experiment. We will be towing an undulating vehicle, nicknamed the SuperSoar, behind the ship that measures the temperature, salinity and other water properties. As well, water from the towed body will be pumped up to the ship and chemical analysis will be conducted on this water in real-time. The towed body will also carry a microstructure instrument to allow us to estimate the mixing occurring in ocean. With these measurements and the change in carbon content in the upper ocean, we can make an estimate of the amount of CO2 that is moving from the atmosphere to ocean or vice versa. These values can be compared to values obtained by the other groups using different techniques.

When going to sea, it is necessary to bring everything you might need since there are no stores out on the ocean. We usually bring every thing from lab in case we would need it; hence, the need to ship a large container of equipment to the ship. As I mentioned earlier, we pump water into the lab from the SuperSoar at 2 gallons per minute. This water has to go somewhere, preferably over the side of the ship and not in the wastewater tanks as they would be filled very quickly. There is a drain in the lab that dumps over the side but we needed get the water to the drain. Thus, we went to the local hardware store and bought a sink and fittings. So, the motto is now ‘Bring everything including the kitchen sink!’.


Dale Hubbard (Oregon State) listens as Dave Hebert (URI) explains the geophysical fluid dynamics associated with the newly acquired sink


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