Maggie Prevenas, May 3, 2007


NOAA Teacher at Sea
Maggie Prevenas
Onboard US Coast Guard Ship Healy
April 20 – May 15, 2007

Mission: Bering Sea Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Alaska
Date: May 3, 2007

Science Log

I stuffed the cups with some sturdy brown paper towels to keep them separate and then placed them in a mesh laundry bag.

Here is Claire’s cup before we sent it down.

Here is Claire’s cup before we sent it down.

The Marine Scientist Technicians (MSTs) connected them to the CDT sampler that was dropped below 3300 meters!

I took this picture of the screen as the CTD was reeled up from the bottom.

I took this picture of the screen as the CTD was reeled up from the bottom.

How much pressure was down there? Scott Hiller, from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, plugged some numbers into an equation and told me that there was some 5100 psi (pounds per square inch) acting on those little white cups. The temperature was just above freezing.

Cups are strapped onboard the CTD

Cups are strapped onboard the CTD

Two hours after dropping them down to the bottom of the Bering Sea, they emerged strapped and dripping.

And MUCH smaller.

Oh how CUTE!

It will be a lot easier mailing these to the St. Paul students. My have they shrunk!

It will be a lot easier mailing these to the St. Paul students. My have they shrunk!

So what did we learn from this?

Well, there are lots more questions that arise. How far do the cups have to drop in order for them to compress? What is the tipping depth, the depth that they begin to compress? Does the length of time that they are submerged make a difference in how they compress? Where does the gas that is in the cup go?

Ah, science, sweet science, raising more questions than answering once again.