For Dr. Michiyo Yamamoto-Kawai, of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT), recovering a year’s worth of RAS-500 water samples in the Arctic Ocean was as exciting and valuable as finding rare diamonds.
In 2015, Dr. Kawai and her team deployed the RAS-500 in the Beaufort Gyre during an expedition aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker the Louis S. St-Laurent. The cruise was a collaboration of institutions from the US, Canada and Japan. Dr. Kawai programmed the RAS-500 to take weekly water samples of dissolved inorganic carbon, nutrients, oxygen, and alkalinity.
In October of 2016, Dr. Kawai’s team was especially excited to recover the RAS-500 with 48 complete samples, as the samples collected in winter are rare in the Arctic when an icebreaker expedition is not possible. When one colleague commented it was like ‘finding gold’, Dr. Kawai exclaimed ‘Diamonds!’ Dr. Kawai and her team will use the water samples to study the seasonality of Arctic Ocean acidification.
The Remote Access Sampler (RAS) is a deep water or coastal time series water sampler that collects samples for biological, dissolved major and minor nutrient, dissolved trace metal, or dissolved organic carbon analyses. The RAS sampler collects ambient water and suspended material in Tedlar® bags, isolating the samples for subsequent laboratory analysis. The RAS-500 collects 48 samples of 500ml each and the RAS-100 collects 48 samples of 100ml each, following a user defined sampling schedule