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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Research spotlight: What is a CTD?

Ever wondered how field biologists measure salinity and temperature in the water column??? We use a nifty instrument called a CTD, which in regular english is a Conductivity Temperature Depth recorder (Click here for a more detailed description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conductivity,_temperature,_depth). CTDs come in a range of sizes and limitations. We have chosen a small, portable instrument because we have limited space on the boat and have to hand cast. Its no easy task dropping about 6 kgs on a line down to 100 m and then bringing it back up safely but the prospect of answering questions and unravelling new mysteries helps us forget the calluses on our hands and sore biceps!

We hope you enjoy the first in our Spotlight series that highlights the different techniques used in the field to answer the questions swimming in my head...stay tuned for more!

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