18 November, 2004
Romeo can see!
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.
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