Picture of the Day


Laurie, along with Jean Baptiste, deploying the Mochness

Laurie, along with Jean-Baptiste, deploying the Mocness

October 17:  Chief Engineer, Paul Bueren, in the engine room of the RV Melville. (photo: Christy Millsap)

October 17: Chief Engineer, Paul Bueren, in the engine room of the R/V Melville. (photo: Christy Millsap)

October 17, 2008

Engine room of the R/V Melville with Chief Engineer Paul Bueren

Photographer:  Christy Millsap

This photo was taken during a tour of the ships inner workings that was given by the ships chief engineer, Paul Bueren.  In this photo we are in the engine room which contains three diesel engines.  As you can imagine, it was extremely loud in this room so ear plugs had to be worn.  Also in the engine room is the ships vapor distiller, where the ships fresh water supply is made from sea water.  An interesting fact I learned is that the ship holds over 100,000 galons of diesel fuel- and burns about 3,000 gallons a day.  Chief stated that the ship could stay out for about 50 days before refueling.  The size of these engines was quite impressive.

These mesopelagic copepods are found in midwater depths in the California Current Ecosystem.  This is a photo of a female and a male of the same species.  This particular species is bioluminescent and will emit light, they believe, to startle prey long enough to escape.  Copepods are extremely important in the CCE food web- they are fed upon by many organisms- both surface as well as the deep scattering layer fish that rise each night to feed.

October 16: Male and Female mesopelagic copepods caught from the RV melville

October 16th, 2008: Male and female mesopelagic copepods caught from the R/V Melville (Photo by: Mark Ohman)

Satelite image of chlorophyll abundance in the CCE after the wind and swell event

October 15th, 2008: Satellite image of chlorophyll abundances within the CCE sampling grid (Photo by: Mati Kahru, SIO)

This image was chosen to highlight a few interesting phenomena discussed in earlier posts.  The numbers on the image indicate our sampling locations-2 being offshore where we completed sample cycle 2 and 3 indicating a near shore sampling cycle that will begin at 1:30 am.  If you notice the colors around sample site 2, you will see purple which indicates very low abundance of phytoplankton and a blue /turquoise that also indicates low levels but higher than the purple.  The turquoise region of water was the mass that the scientists found particularly interesting in terms of its poor health.  Even though there was more total phytoplankton in this area, it was far less productive than the purple region where there was less total phytoplankton.  This is a region where the scientists believe the water to be low in iron- thus causing the phytoplankton to be inefficient photosynthesizers.

Water sample collected by bucket from the side of the RV Melville (Oct 13, 2008)

October 13th, 2008: Water sample collected by bucket from the side of the R/V Melville (Photo by: Christy Millsap)

I chose this picture today to highlight how far marine science has come.  In the past, our only way to understand the ocean may have been by taking bucket samples.  Over the past two weeks I have highlighted some very advanced equipment that has been invented to enhance our understanding and accessibility to ocean data.  I thought today’s use of a bucket to collect surface water for analysis was an excellent visual of past simple practices still being useful today.

October 12, 2008: Deploying the Oozeki trawl from the stern of the RV Melville

October 12, 2008: Deploying the Oozeki trawl from the stern of the R/V Melville (Photo by: Christy Millsap)

Although I have shown a picture of the oozeki trawl in a previous post- I felt as though this picture did a better job of displaying the size of the net.  The scientists using this trawl will deploy it twice back to back.  They will do a shallow day trawl- called their null hypothesis trawl- in which they predict that no deep sea fish will be found (and they rarely are). This short trawl is followed by a longer, deeper trawl in which they hope to reach the deep scattering layer and the deeper vertically migrating fish (this is when the vampire squid was caught).  They will then repeat this same procedure at night and hope to find the same fish at shallower depths.  Scientists are trying to prove that these deep sea fish migrate at night to feed on the organisms that descend.

Preserved jar of Euphausia pacifica caught in the mockness trawl off of the RV Melville

October 11th, 2008: Preserved jar of Euphausia pacifica caught in the Mocness trawl off of the R/V Melville. (Photo by: Christy Millsap)

This krill is mostly species Euphausia pacifica and is grouped as zooplankton. It was caught in the Oozeki trawl at depths 0m down to 600m.  The depth is not specific on this net as it is continuously open both up and down the water column.  Krill are an essential component to the California Current ecosystem as they are a primary food source for many organisms from pelagic fish to large baleen whales.  The large biomass, as depicted in this photo, is what supports many organisms and is key to a healthy and balanced food web.

Kelly Deploying the Go Flo bottles from the starboard side of the RV Melville

September 30th, 2008: Kelly deploying the Go Flo bottles from the starboard side of the R/V Melville. (Photo by: Christy Millsap)

Today’s picture of the day was pulled out of pictures I had taken during the beginning of our trip.  The seas were rough again today which did not allow for much sampling to take place.  Therefore, I am highlighting some of the sampling that took place earlier.  This is a picture of Kelly deploying eight go flo bottles.  These bottles are attached to a nylon line- the first one at a depth of 10m and the last one at a depth of 400m.  The bottle material as well as the line material are unique from other sampling equipment on board in that they need to be free of any metals that may contaminate the sample.  These samples are being collected to test for trace metals- specifically measuring total iron and total copper concentrations.  The water sample is taken into a clean van (large shipping container with a lab inside) where the samples are analyzed.  Kristen, working on this project as well, uses this sample water to measure the uptake of these metals by lignins which is in all particulate organic matter.

                          

October 9, 2008: Andrew and Dan viewing phytoplankton samples using floresence microscopy.

October 9, 2008: Andrew and Dan viewing phytoplankton samples using fluorescence microscopy. (Photo by: Christy Millsap)

Today’s picture of the day is of Andrew and Dan looking through phytoplankton samples gathered from the CTD.  They collect water from various depths, filter the water through filters, collect the phytoplankton that is trapped on the filter, stain it with various biological stains and make it into slides.  The slides are then placed under a high powered microscope that is set to pick up the fluorescence of the stains.  It can be set to view proteins- which allows them to identify the organisms.  It can also be set to view DNA which will differentiate biotic from abiotic material.  The two of them spend many hours in the dark, sorting through their samples and photographing.

Sediment trap recovery from the fantail of the R/V Melville

October 8, 2008: Sediment trap recovery from the fantail of the R/V Melville (Photo by: Christy Millsap)

 Today’s photo shows the recovery of the sediment trap from the fantail of the ship.  This sediment trap was deployed at the beginning of the first sampling cycle along with the drifter.  The sediment trap attaches to a drifter by a cable extending the sample containers into the euphotic zone (upper 660ft or 200 meters).  A heavy weight is attached to the tail end of the line to ensure the trap remains at relatively the same depth throughout the four days of deployment.  The trap captures particles (dead organisms, waste, and inorganic matter) as it falls from the ocean surface.  These samples are then analyzed to see how much available carbon and nutrients are transported to depth by falling particles rather than migrating organisms coming up to feed.  Thus, yet another instrument that helps scientists understand the complicated dynamics of the California Current Ecosystem.

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