Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) Cruise
January 5 - February 26, 2002
January 17, 2002: Day 13
Ship: -55 58.4268 -171 50.5308
Drifter: -55 59.0742 -171 53.913 (in the middle of the patch, which has elongated E/W in the past 24hrs to about 20 km/10 km)
Ken Johnson writes: Were back at work, fertilizing the patch with more iron.Meanwhile, results from yesterdays station inside the patch are starting to come in.The chlorophyll concentration in waters from the patch seem to be increasing, values are nearly double those we measured at the beginning of the experiment.However, we need to analyze results from outside the patch to confirm that chlorophyll is not increasing there, as well - perhaps due to the calm conditions that we experienced.So Im not getting too excited by those results yet.At least theyre headed in the right direction.The Fv/Fm values in the patch have now increased to the maximum possible values - at least the phytoplankton present are, for sure, very healthy.
Other samples are beginning to fill the deckboard incubators.Weve had a bit of a backlog created because the Liquid Scintillation Counter needed to analyze the samples failed a few days ago.After a rush of e-mails, faxes, and satellite telephone calls, the problem was diagnosed by Beckman, the instrument manufacturer, and an emergency solution was implemented.The LSC is now back on line and working fine.However, MELVILLE will bring spare parts, just in case, for an at sea transfer when they reach us at the South Patch.That will be interesting, if we have to do it.
The weather continues to be fairly moderate.Winds remain about 15 knots.But its getting colder, look Josh has long pants on. While the ship is steaming along and spreading iron, weve been busy maintaining other gear that has been a little balky.We built some new underwater cables for the CTD because one of the connectors was leaky.Hopefully, that will fix a problem weve been having with the Transmissometer, which measures the amount of light in the water column.
Otherwise, Ive been busy revising our schedule.Were two days behind our original schedule - we lost one day in Lyttelton due to the delay in fueling, a half day on the transit because I way underestimated the amount of time the test station would take, and another half day here and there.Well leave here at midnight on the 19th (local time), heading down to 66S for the next experiment.No excuses.Theres another iron patch to be made.