Patrick Robinson in the Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica--After two weeks of transit and oceanography work, we are now ready to begin searching for Weddell seals. We are in the southeastern Weddell sea in an area where chief scientist Keith Nicholls spotted animals on previous expeditions. Weddell seals prefer areas of dense sea ice over the continental shelf in waters between 400-700 meters depth. The seals spend most of their time in the water diving and foraging, but we are looking for animals that have hauled out on the sea ice to rest.
Patrick Robinson at the Eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica-- The main purpose of this RRS Shackleton expedition is to study the oceanography of the Weddell Sea. To do this, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey deploy instruments on mooring lines (see previous blog posting), but also complete point samples by lowering instruments deep into the ocean from the ship. The CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) recorder as well as current profilers are the basic tools of oceanographers and provide information about a profile of the water column.