Marine biologists probe unexplored reefs using Valeport fastCTD profiler
Pioneering research of some of the world’s most mysterious coral reefs is being supported by Valeport’s latest CTD profiler, the fastCTD.
As part of the research equipment and instrumentation accompanying a team of marine biologists led by the University of Hawaii, the fastCTD is deployed to produce CTD profiles that support our understanding of the diverse ecosystems found on ‘twilight reefs’.
The majority of tropical coral reefs exist at depths between 100-500 feet, which is too deep for traditional scuba diving, but too shallow to justify the cost of using manned or unmanned submersible craft to reach them. This largely unexplored environment is now becoming accessible with the aid of the latest developments in rebreather technology. Coral samples are gathered and analysed in conjunction with data profiles from instruments including the fastCTD to inform the researchers’ understanding of the unique ecosystems formed around coral reefs.
Pohnpei in bloom
The island of Pohnpei, where a number of research trips have taken place, is of particular interest to the team due to the diversity of its coral and other marine species. The long deployment capability of the fastCTD, coupled with its ability to deliver high quality profiles proved invaluable during a previous expedition when the research team returned to field experiments to discover that an invasive algal bloom had developed as a result of temperature anomalies.