South to Andvord Bay!

Today we finished up in Wilhelmina Bay and transited south to Andvord Bay. Among the things we finished up were the quarterly testing of the life boat and fast rescue craft. The transit to Andvord was beautiful, with lots of penguin colonies – it was hard to leave the bow to get back to setting up experiments. Here in Anvord there is a lot of phytoplankton! The ship measures the level of chlorophyll, the colored molecule that plants use to turn light into food, continuously as we move along. In Wilhelmina most of the time we had between 1 and 3 micrograms of chlorophyll per liter of seawater. Here in Andvord we’ve seen concentrations above 30 micrograms per liter! Even just looking at the icebergs you can tell there’s more phytoplankton here – the part of the iceberg that you see through the water are colored with a greenish hue, rather than the turquoise blue we saw in Wilhelmina Bay. We can’t wait to start sampling in the morning and figure out which phytoplankton there are so many of and what kinds of zooplankton are here eating them!

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Categories: Musings of an Oceanographer | Leave a comment

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