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Citizen Science at Spert Island


Today we had the opportunity to carry out the Fjord Phyto project beside Spert Island. This involved our ‘six sexy scientists’ from the voyage crew, accompanied by Laura and Vicky, heading out in grey with some ropes, disks, and a sampling net. 

It was convenient that the weather dried up after lunch to make this a more enjoyable experience and easier to do the fiddly jobs when your fingers still have some feeling left. But this wouldn’t have stopped our team of scientists!

First up was the temperature and salinity profile which they took using the CTD (the small orange pod in the photos). From this, we found that the water column was well mixed indicating that at this location there is no evidence of glacial melt input. This is something we can compare to other sites later in the trip and from past voyages this season. 

Next was the collection of water samples to look at the biological composition of the phytoplankton communities. This was done using the phytoplankton net. Back on board, we had a great evening in Cierva Cove so we have not looked through the samples in detail yet. However, at the base of the net, where the sampling jar is attached, the water was clearly discolored indicating the presence of phytoplankton. From Laura’s quick peek through the microscope at the water from the sample jar, she found a wide range of phytoplankton types. These are shown in the images. Tomorrow Laura will let us know more about these organisms and what they can tell us about the local environment. 

Finally, the Secchi depth measurement was taken using the Secchi disk. This is done to assess the water clarity. We got a depth of 9.5 metres which has implications as to the amount of phytoplankton in the water column and/or the suspended sediment. 

By taking all of these measurements at the same site we are contributing to a time series of samples from different locations across the Antarctic Peninsula. Our results are kept for our own future use as well as being submitted to the Fjord Phyto project. 

Text by Beth and Laura

Photos by Laura

Geschreven door:
Beth Hitchcock | Expedition Leader



Where do I find the photos? For each log post I only see one, just below the date, for this post it is someone with a secchi disc. But seems like you have posted more than that?

alicia  |  01-03-2024 18:24 uur

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