Biogeochemical Profiling Floats: Eyes on North Atlantic Phytoplankton Blooms
Profiling floats developed by researchers (shown being deployed above) at Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer (LOV) and outfitted with biogeochemical sensors from Sea-Bird Scientific have helped characterize the true start of seasonal North Atlantic phytoplankton blooms. Once limited by infrequent field sampling and spotty satellite data, researchers were unclear whether phytoplankton productivity would ramp up in the winter (implied by previously observed jumps in productivity), or later in the spring.
To answer this questions, they deployed 9 floats equipped with sensors for chlorophyll, nitrate, oxygen, and photosynthetically active radiation for a multi-parameter analysis of the spring bloom. Years of autonomous data from these instruments revealed that early winter productivity was not the start of the bloom, but the result of unexpectedly favorable weather conditions driving temporary productivity in the colder months. The result is that North Atlantic seasonal bloom truly begins when weather conditions are consistently milder and sunlight is more available. Read more here.
Biogeochemical profiling floats around the world can provide similar insights; by operating autonomously in hard-to-reach locations, these instruments provide new research angles to otherwise difficult research topics. Sea-Bird Scientific’s line of profiling floats and accessories aims to expand the sampling capabilities of the global float network.
Product Obsolescence and Trade-In Program
Researchers lowered the first Sea-Bird Scientific instruments into the sea in the mid 80’s, obtaining some of the best oceanographic measurements of their time and rapidly expanding their research potential. Today, those original product goals integrate new features and advancements in Sea-Bird’s ongoing product design.
As our list of instruments grows, older equipment is replaced by updated versions, necessitating a natural phase-out of older products. Starting in 2018, Sea-Bird Scientific will no longer be producing the following instruments:
- SBE 8 Microstructure Temperature Sensor
- SBE 14 Remote Depth Readout
- SBE 29 Pressure Sensor
- SBE 36 Deck Unit
- SBE 47 WOCE Drifter CT Sensor
- ISUS Nitrate Sensor
- PN 90506 SeaKeeper Thermosalinograph
- PN 90654 4H-JENA Ferrybox Thermosalinograph
Sea-Bird will continue to service these instruments for 5 years or until parts are no longer available. Documentation for discontinued products can still be accessed on our website.
For a limited time, Sea-Bird will be accepting returns of 2 obsolete products for credit towards its successor:
- Owners of the ISUS V3 Nitrate sensor can trade it in for $2000 credit towards a new SUNA V2 Nitrate sensor. The SUNA V2 implements several new features with greater reliability in a smaller, more robust housing.
- The SBE 36 deck unit can be traded in for $250 credit towards a new SBE 33 deck unit. The SBE 33 works identically to the SBE 36 and provides water sampler compatibility (SBE 32 and SBE 55) to real-time deployments of Sea-Bird CTDs. NOTE: The Power Data Interface Module (PDIM) is still in production and can be used with the SBE 33 if no water sampler is desired.
Sea-Bird Scientific at Ocean Sciences Meeting Next Week
Sea-Bird Scientific is exhibiting at the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting (February 12-16, 2018) in Portland, OR, USA. Attending from Sea-Bird Scientific will be scientists, sales associates, researchers and engineers. We encourage you to drop by Booth 113 to discuss your applications and how our latest technologies can work for you.
Below is a list of poster sessions and presentations by Sea-Bird Scientists and Oceanographers that may be of interest to you while at Ocean Sciences. Click on each topic to read more on the Ocean Sciences website.
Tech Tip: Mating and Unmating Connectors
It is important to prepare and mate connectors correctly, both in terms of the costs to repair them and to preserve data quality. Leaking connectors cause noisy data and even potential system shutdowns. Application Note 57: Connector Care and Cable Installation describes the proper care and installation of connectors for Sea-Bird instruments.
The Application Note covers connector cleaning and cable or dummy plug installation, locking sleeve installation, and cold weather tips and is divided into three sections:
Meet Our People: Natalie Zielinski,
Technical Support II
Natalie received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Delaware and then an M.S. in Oceanography from Texas A&M University where she studied air-sea-ice interactions and circulation patterns over the continental shelves of Antarctica. Natalie has field experience handling and processing data from oceanographic instruments on scientific cruises, teaching undergraduate-level oceanography and developing STEM educational outreach programs.
Natalie recently joined Sea-Bird Scientific as an Oceanographer in the Technical Customer Support II position where she will be helping customers overcome challenges with instrument setup, data processing and troubleshooting. When not at Sea-Bird, Natalie enjoys traveling the world, trail running, cooking, scuba diving and anything related to Chicago Sports. Go Blackhawks!