Day 27: Homeward Bound...

And we’re off! After a day of ROV sampling at Mingulay and a night of multibeam mapping, the ‘over-the-side’ science has ended, and as of 0600 we are beginning our journey back to the delights of Govan! So a final equipment blog, coming today courtesy of Juan from Heriot –Watt University.

Juan making maps
The Mingulay Reef Complex has a unique oceanographic phenomena; a downwelling of water movement from the surface of the ocean towards the bottom every 6 hours. We need to further understand the waters surrounding the area, in order to know how the cold-water corals feed, reproduces and the possible impact of climate change in the near future.

Moving Vessel Profiler
We use several instruments to measure water column characteristics. For example, we have devices that measure the current speed (as the Doppler effect), as well as systems that continually measure temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and plankton in the ocean (the MVP), from the surface to over 500 m deep, over several kilometres as we trundle along. We can also create 3D maps, which we use to plan the sampling areas and the ROV dives. All this information will be processed in ours laboratories and computers.

Life on a research vessel is full of surprises, sieving mud at night in the middle of the ocean, some time with whales close to you, watching squid at 200 meters on TV screens, marine birds above us every single day and watching the sun rise with other colleagues, seriously it is an experience of your life......

Tomorrow we will have our final blog from the Changing Oceans Expedition, following a day of packing, steaming and that final sunset.