Steve Punshon rinses a flask in preparation for taking a water sample from a Niskin Bottle on the Rosette for oxygen analysis. Photo credit: Lorenza Raimondi.

CTD, eh? – Part 2 by Guest Contributor, Andrew Cogswell

Andrew Cogswell of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography submitted this entry from the R/V Atlantis.

Water sampling order listed on the whiteboard in the lab as a reminder when we start to lose our marbles. Photo credit: Andrew Cogswell.
Water sampling order listed on the whiteboard in the lab as a reminder when we start to lose our marbles. Photo credit: Andrew Cogswell.

The rosette sampling order is completed the same way each time based on the volatility of the parameter being investigated. We all play “ring around the rosette” until samples are collected. This is the torture I mentioned in Part 1. The water is below zero at some depths and really makes you question your choice of career as it cascades over your increasingly useless and painful digits. Coupled with the wind and freezing temperatures on the open deck, it can be a less than pleasant experience. Once the water has reduced your hands to frozen stumps, water sampling is complete. The water is then paraded back to the lab (just feet from the CTD for those of you on the Hudson) for sample preparation and/or storage. The torture now enters it’s second stage as feeling returns to your fingers. Joking aside, time at the rosette can be a pleasant experience. Scientists emerge bleary eyed from the lab to take samples and usually return to the lab full of energy after getting some much needed arctic air and great conversation as we make our way around the rosette.

Steve Punshon rinses a flask in preparation for taking a water sample from a Niskin Bottle on the Rosette for oxygen analysis. Photo credit: Lorenza Raimondi.
Steve Punshon rinses a flask in preparation for taking a water sample from an Niskin Bottle on the Rosette for oxygen analysis. Photo credit: Lorenza Raimondi.

The CTD is then cleaned and prepped for the next cast and the process repeats itself. This is not meant to be an in depth review. I’ve simplified a great deal and left out some information for the sake of brevity (OK, that did not work – sorry). ┬áIt’s a messy business. Water sampling at the end of the cast get the camera lens wet, but now you know how we get the water and monitor the environment.

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