Yesterday we competed the first of hopefully many experiments to study the effect of internal waves on the distribution of plankton in the ocean. The experiment was ambitious, consisting of deploying 16 small autonomous floats multiple times per day, 5 surface pingers, two bottom mounted ADCPs, two thermistor strings, one wirewalker with CTD, optical sensors, acoustic backscatter, and real-time data telemetry, and a dual magnification plankton microscope attached to the end of a plankton net, rapid vertical CTD profiles from a second CTD, and a helikite to observe the surface signal of internal waves. The experiment spanned three weeks and included 100s of autonomous float profiles, 3,564 wirewalker profiles, millions of plankton images, 100s of CTD cast, and close to zero data or instrument loss. A great success! Below are a few images shot over the coarse of the experiment.
Last week Eric Orenstein delivered a new build of the SPC system to Eric Danner’s group at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, CA. This new build incorporates larger optics to yield a 0.5 L imaged volume, a brightfield illumination to work well even in turbid river and estuary waters, and a custom flow chamber to allow drift nets, pumps, and other methods to collect plankton and pipe them through the imaged volume. More details about the new system can be found on the research page: SPC NOAA Fisheries