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Journals 2008/2009

Jeff Lawrence
Lowrey Middle School, Tahlequah, OK

"Factors Controlling Coccolithophore Calcification in the Ocean"
R/V Roger Revelle
December 4, 2008 - January 2, 2009
Journal Index:
December 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
                11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17
                18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24
                25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 January 1 - 2

December 24, 2008
Blue Waters Good for Finding Coccolithophores

Recently we have sailed into beautiful blue water, which is an indication that there is phytoplankton and biological species in the water including coccolithophores. The coccolithophore takes carbon out of the ocean waters and calcifies the carbon into a hard outer surface. When the coccolithophore dies the carbon is then transported to the bottom of the ocean and is sequestered there where it eventually may become limestone. While near the surface its many faceted sides reflect sunlight back to the surface, which shows up on satellite photos from space. Also by looking at the waters color a scientist can get some kind of indication that something may be present. Below you will also see a monitor with data from a CTS cast. The green line is a fluorometer and shows a spike between 30-60 meters, this is a good indicator of life in the water at that depth. The photo below shows a piece of kelp floating in beautiful clear water close to the ship that was stopped in the middle of a coccolithphore bloom.

Beautiful blue waters of the Southern Atlantic
CTD data from REVELLE station cast

Look carefully in the background and you will see a fog rainbow. Fog had set in for the entire day until about 6:00 pm. Suddenly the fog began to lift yet the little bit of fog remaining made a beautiful arc of rainbow colors. In person the colors were even more vibrant. Mother Nature provides another spectacular first for me to enjoy. While on this voyage I have seen a double rainbow, fog rainbow, and a cirucmhorizon arc, which makes cirrus clouds rainbow colored. Everyday I wake and wonder what magic nature has to show me today. I have witnessed many spectacular sights that I photographed with my camera and my mind's eye. These beautiful images could have only been seen on this voyage, truly spectacular! How many kinds of rainbows can there be?

A fog rainbow

Other rainbows mentioned above appear in earlier journal entries.

Questions of the Day:
  1. What is a fluorometer?
  2. Who was Jacques Cousteau?