Monday, 2 April 2012

Heading towards South Orkneys

We're now heading to the South Orkney Trough to deploy a mooring, adding to five already there looking at outflow of bottom water from the Weddell Sea. Dense water is formed around Antarctica (especially the Weddell Sea) due to it getting very cold and brine rejected when sea ice is formed. This flows down the continental shelf and around the bottom of the world's ocean (except North Atlantic). Being below 2000m it is not sampled by autonomous floats so these mooring and the deep transect we will do afterwards are still the main way the properties, and any changes, are monitored.

Wandering Albatross. One of these birds was ringed so will try to find out the details.

 Wilson's Storm Petrel, the other end of the size range

 Cattle Egret. They seem to pick a compass direction and disperse that way. Not a great plan if you breed at the southern tip of Chile. They can't land on water, can't feed and will die. Unfortunate but not our fault.

Minke Whale that came in while we were on station. Some Fin Whales were seen but not photographed (by me anyway), hopefully there will be more today, this seems to be a favoured spot.


Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

Wonderful photos Hugh - not heard about the cattle egret before - shame they don't make it to land.

martin said...

Hi Hugh, I'm enjoying your blog. Hope you don't mind but I'm using one of your photos in my blog. Let me know if you want me to remove it.