Icebreaker collects opportunistic data underway

Posted: 12/30/2011 in all marine news

Hydro International –

While on passage from the Canadian west coast to the arctic, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) scientists from the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS) in Sidney, British Columbia were able to collect dozens of high-quality 400m CTD profiles across the Pacific Ocean without stopping or slowing the icebreaker CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

The researchers are among the latest groups to use the Oceanscience UnderwayCTD system for this type of profiling challenge.

Each year, scientists from IOS travel to the arctic on board the Laurier and are able to conduct science while in transit.

However, slowing or stopping the ship to conduct science activities is often not possible; and as a result, most research has to be done while underway.

That’s where the latest Oceanscience profiler comes in. The DFO scientists have traditionally used expendable CTD (XCTD) probes, launched from the Laurier while slowing the ship to about 9 kts, from its typical transit speed of about 11kts.

While easy to deploy, the expendable probes do not match research-grade oceanographic instruments in accuracy and resolution, and are not ideal as a tool to monitor subtle changes and variability in the temperature and salinity fields of the North East Pacific, associated with climate change and moving fronts.

Full story…

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