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ANACONDAS Heads to the Plume

07/13/2012, 05:14 AM by Lollie Garay
Proposed cruise track<br/><br/>Credit: Tish Yager
Proposed cruise track
Photo Credit: Tish Yager

Friday July 13, 2012

The ANACONDAS team set sail early this morning from Barbados onboard the RV Atlantis. Destination? The Amazon Plume.  For just over two weeks, the team made up of US and Brazilian scientists will gather samples and conduct experiments along the proposed track shown on the image above. 

Dr. Tish Yager (University of Georgia) is the US Chief Scientist for ANACONDAS. I asked her what she is most interested in this time around. She replied: “The most important science question for me is to see what happens in the plume as the river just meets the sea, especially to the CO2.   The river is supersaturated and outgassing a lot of CO2.  The plume we have seen is always under saturated and taking in CO2.  I really want to see how that transition occurs. “ 

Before they left for the plume, one member of the Yager Team came to my classroom to talk about the voyage. Joanna Green is a graduate student whose job will be to process all the bacterial production measurements onboard(via tritium-labeled leucine incorporation).   She will also berunning her own experiments linking photochemical breakdown of complex molecules and the microbial community response.  This work will bepart of her Masters Thesis.

After her presentation, we had a short Q & A, then she helped the students prepare a  “head” to be submerged into the ocean. Students wanted to know how much it could be shrink under the pressure of the ocean. 

And who am I? My name is Lollie Garay, and I’ll be posting blogs with pictures to tell the story of their journey to and from the plume. Additionally, you can post questions regarding the science on the home page. Look below this blog and you’ll find a box labeled “Send us a message”.  We will send you an answer as soon as we can. The answers will come in an email tagged From the Plume. Please note that once the science gets underway, it may take a couple of days for a response.

I’ll have lots more to share about the individual science teams and crew during their transit. Keep checking back for updates!


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Question of the Day

  • Do the bacteria in the water make us sick?

    Only a few of them.  Bacteria are in every habitat on Earth, growing in soil, hot springs, radioactive waste, water, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals. Bacteria recycle nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms, such as nitrogen fixation.