As I told you in my previous blog, I am working onboard the research vessel Polarstern from the Alfred Wegener Institute. I am participating in the Eddy Pump research project that will take place from the 7th January to 11th March 2012 from CapeTown (South Africa) to Punta Arenas (Chile). The study area will be composed by a few biogeographical provinces in the Southern Ocean and their response to different nutrients composition in the water column. Among this nutrients, dissolved iron will be crucial.
During the first week we have been setting up the clean labs and equipments and checking the Go-Flo bottles that will be used to collect our samples. Until you start working on-board, you cannot imagine how difficult it can be to install everything in perfect conditions for analysis purposes but also to avoid any accident because of the boat’s movements. As we will be measuring iron on board, the cares we have to take in order to avoid sample contamination are huge … and even huger if you pretend to analyze iron on board a metal made ship!
In the next pictures you can see the clean bubble made by Luis and me where sampling of the Go-Flo bottles will take place. We have managed to improvise a mobile structure to transport all the Go-Flos from the deck to the lab avoiding any iron contamination.