On the Shelf

We’ve left port and are steaming east, northeast towards our first station. We will be cruising along the shelf at 11 knots for the next few days.

Our first station will be in an anticyclonic eddy near 50 degrees N (this is eddy A1 in the map below).

Map of our cruise and track and eddies.

Map of our cruise and track and eddies.

It’ going to take us another 6 days to get there. During the transit, samples are being continuously analyzed from the through-flow system which takes sea water from just below the surface and pumps it through a multitude of instruments.

We have also started to collect acoustic data using the ship’s acoustic doppler current profiler (ADCP). Although this is an echosounder that is designed to measure ocean currents, but I’ve also been looking at the amplitude of the acoustic backscattering in the water column. Yesterday around sunset, we observed the vertical migration of zooplankton and micronekton (little beasties that eat smaller beasties and plants) to the surface. It was exciting to watch this unfold in real-time.

At the same time, we started to see these little critters in the imaging flow cytobot.


Check back in a day or two and I’ll post a short video giving a tour of the ship, our home for the next month.