Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Arrival at Shag Rocks Passage

In the last couple of hours we have arrived at Shag Rocks Passage and should soon start our intensive survey of the region. We are particularly interested in this area as it is here where a large branch of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (the world’s largest) squeezes through a deep channel in the North Scotia Ridge that separates the Scotia Sea from the rest of the South Atlantic. We aim to test whether this process causes intense mixing of water by conducting surveys both upstream and downstream of the feature to observe the change in dye concentration to either side. We shall also be measuring mixing directly at close spacing with the HRP and VMP. Our nerve centre during this operation will be the main lab of the ship. Xinfeng has kindly contributed a few photos of this area for today’s blog post. 

This bank of computers has a data feed from many of the ship's instruments including echo sounders and navigation
 Meteorological data from the met platform at the front of the ship is displayed on this screen. Measurements of wind speed/direction, temperature and humidity are amongst those taken
View of the met platform (where the sensors are mounted) from the bridge
Alex, Peggy and Luc inspecting maps of our route in the plotting area
 Lots of computer screens! The two illuminated screens at the back of the shot display real-time information from the ship's hull-mounted acoustic current meters
 Alex on the day watch in the main laboratory

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