Science Equipment: Moorings

A mooring prior to deployment.
A mooring prior to deployment.

The  Gyroscope. It will be attached to the mooring and then retrieved.
The Gyroscope. It will be attached to the mooring and then retrieved.

Today was windy with snow. It reminds me a lot like where I'm from in Northern New York. As the winds are projected at between 40- 60 knots the outside decks are off limits as I write this. We are Hoping for a break soon as a lot of science is waiting. My shift partners and I were busy processing sediments from a Kasten core. It was a meticulous process that required accuracy and excellent cataloguing abilities. This will be explained in detail in a few days as I'm waiting for the pictures. So I thought I would show another piece of scientific equipment on board and briefly explain its use. Moorings are rather complicated devices that are used to gather a wide variety of physical oceanographic data. The gyroscope serves to counteract the gravitational forces that are strengthened as we are near the Magnetic South Pole. Do you remember the journal about the effects on compasses the South Pole has? The gyroscope is a very expensive piece of equipment that must be retrieved once the mooring is in place. This will be done by the marine techs on board using a special device.

This is the information sheet showing all the devices.
This is the information sheet showing all the devices that will be attached to the mooring.

Depending on the deployment waypoint for the mooring the scientists will attach a variety of sensors to gather vital data about this uncharted region. These include temperature, currents, etc.. Another part that is attached is the collection cone. It is used to trap any materials that may drop to the bottom while the mooring is deployed.

This is a view of the collecting cone.
This is a view of the collecting cone before being attached to the mooring device.

In order to assure that the line attaching the mooring and all the data collecting devices remain vertical a large buoy is attached at the surface. The bouy has a transmitter and a bright beacon. The transmitter and beacon will guide us back in a few weeks in order to pick up the device.

The buoy with its transmitter and beacon light.
The buoy with its transmitter and beacon light will help us find the mooring on our return trip.

I want thank Ross Hein for giving me the inside information about the gyroscope and the mooring. It is a really impressive piece of engineering, math, science and technology. This is just another reason how important math and science are. So if you are sitting in class, sit up and pay attention! Sorry that was the teacher in me coming out. Looks like the weather will improve tomorrow. More cool stuff soon!

Weather Summary
Snow, Windy.



Hi Glenn,Looks like you are having fun and doing well. Really enjoying the blog. Couple of questions for you.
Was I reading the water depth right at 610m ?
Is there much variation in laminar flow rates at 100m intervals in this part of the world ?

We are currently 2nd place in broomball with the last game coming up next week then the championship for the million dollar purse. Go green !


Glenn Clark

Hi Schyler, Yes to the 610 meters in waters near the glacier. We are doing kasten core samples and ctd, as well as studying the currents. I
will have to get back to you on that. Really good to hear about the
broomball team. If I'm not there and you win the million dollars to I
get to keep any of the $$? Right now we are literally in uncharted
waters and in thick ice. Trying to punch our way through. No worries.
Hope all are well. A couple pics for you


Absolutely and inclusion in the numerous endorsement offers coming in

Glenn Clark

Thanks you may want to talk to the scientists/ assistants and the ships crew. they deserve all the credit.