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18 November, 2004

Romeo can see!

Temperature: 15*F

Location: Lake Hoare

First thing this morning, Ian dove to get some more algal mat core samples. He also took an oxygen sensing probe into the lake to monitor oxygen levels at various layers within the mat. Data from both these data collection methods will be compared to see if the information from different sampling techniques matches.

The cyanobacteria in the algal mats are photosynthetic, meaning they take in carbon dioxide and using energy from the sun they create oxygen. Some of this oxygen is utilized by the bacteria, but a considerable amount is released as waste. The oxygen is then used by other organisms in the lake. There are other producers of oxygen, such as phytoplankton, in the lake. Ian believes that the bacteria are a major source of oxygen production and he is trying to test his belief by collecting data.

As soon as the samples are brought back to the surface, Kay quickly analyzes them in the lab. The data they are collecting does indeed show that the bacteria are producing tremendous amounts of oxygen, more than most things in the lake. The data collecting will continue.

After Ian's dive, I dove to redeploy "Romeo", the underwater camera. Jeff and Tony worked until 3:30 in the morning to get it running again. They were successful! Images from Romeo can now be viewed in "real time" via the internet. We had two successful test runs today!

After our dives, I refilled our air cylinders by running the compressor. It took about 1.5 hours to fill the tanks, so I enjoyed some "free" time on Lake Hoare. I had to stay near the compressor, so it was quite noisy, but the scenery was spectacular.

1. Kay holds the underwater oxygen sensor in our lab by the dive hole.

2. Kay passes the oxygen sensor to Ian who is in the water. I am dive tending.

3. Some questions have come through about how we get out of the water; this is how! We litterally haul each other out. It's rather like catching big fish!

4. Me helping Ian out of his helmet after a dive.

5. Me underwater!

6. "Romeo" in his new home with a pinnacle algal matt in the distanced

7. Taking a rest while the compressor refills our dive tanks.

8. Data from today. The graph shows depth vs. oxygen levels. From the top: the probe was just above the matt, as the probe was lowered through the matt, oxygen levels increased dramatically.

9. Enjoying the view outside my tent before going to bed; this picture was taken at midnight!

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