"Thermistor mooring string laid out on back deck of R/V LMGould waiting deployment. Mooring is seated on the ocean floor by 2 concrete anchors (upper left of photo, not yet attached to mooring base). Floats (orange and white balls) hold the string vertical, so that thermistors (electronic thermometers - white cylindrical tubes) are positioned at predefined depths in the water, providing us measurements of the temperature as a function of depth every half hour for one year. This allows us to monitor how the ocean warms and cools, essentially supplying heat to the region, which escapes to the atmosphere, helping to warm it in winter, and to the underside of glacial ice which is melted, contributing to the rise of global sea level. In one year, when we return to the location of this mooring, we will contact it through radio signals and release it (the large yellow cylinder at left near 3 small orange floats). That release, situated just above the anchors on the sea floor, turns a lock so that the string is released from the anchor, floating to the surface where we can recover it, collect the data stored in the sensors, replace their batteries and redeploy it for another year. Mooring is over 400 m long (slightly higher than the Empire State Building in New York)."
Photo Credit: Doug Martinson.