Sampling the water column in the South East Atlantic

The CTD on board M187 (photo: Hannah Melzer)

The CTD (short for Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) is a central instrument for most oceanic research. It infers the salinity from conductivity and measures, in addition to temperature and depth, oxygen, florescence and much more! Furthermore, it has 24 big bottles (10 L) attached to it, allowing for water collection from specific depths, which then in turn can be sampled and experimented on in the labs.

I am Hannah, a Master student of the course ‘Climate Physics – Physical Oceanography and Meteorology’ at the Kiel University in close collaboration with GEOMAR. I am very interested in physical oceanography, where we research, among other things, waves, currents and long-term variability of physical parameters.

This cruise is guided by the question of biological and chemical properties of filaments in a region of oceanic upwelling, which is a little outside my expertise, but I am a representative of the physical oceanography department to work with the CTD and the data it records, which lays the foundation for the following experiments on chemical tracers in the labs.

This is my second cruise and I really enjoy being at the sea! The waves are really stunning to look at, the team is very fun to be around and the weather is also great! Plus, we get a fair number of spectacular sunsets!

Hannah Melzer

GEOMAR/Kiel University