Ship-of-Opportunity Monitoring of the Chilean Fjords Using the Pocket FerryBox


Results from two field campaigns in the Chilean fjords region are presented to demonstrate the benefits and limitations of the “pocket FerryBox” for monitoring from ships of opportunity. The October 2009 (spring) campaign covered the region of the Chilean coast between 41.5° and 46.7°S, and that in March 2010 (autumn) covered the region between 41.5° and 51.8°S. In the campaigns the pocket FerryBox—a portable flow-through system for underway multiparametric monitoring—was installed temporarily on board the vessel M/V Ro-Ro Evangelistas. The taking of water samples allowed posterior calibration of the sensors and analyses for nutrients and plankton. The pocket FerryBox may be configured with multiple sensors [in this case temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll-a fluorescence, pH, turbidity, and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM)] and includes the hardware and software for data acquisition and real-time presentation. In the Chilean campaigns multiple transects of up to 1700 km in length were obtained, which provided a unique and highly valuable dataset at a very low cost. The data uncovered a number of previously unreported results, including a tidally driven low dissolved oxygen zone in the Corcovado Gulf, a high level of spatial and temporal variability of, and a complex relationship between, dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll-a fluorescence, and the detection of high concentrations of CDOM in the vicinity of the Laguna San Rafael. The campaigns confirm that the pocket FerryBox may be easily installed on board ships of opportunity to obtain rapid, low-cost, and spatially extensive surveys of highly relevant surface water properties.
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