7 february 2021: Zig and zags between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees south

For a few days now, our trajectory may seem strange… Indeed, we have not made a straight line between the Marion and Crozet islands, but in zig and zag in a south-eastern and then  north-eastern direction. The cause: crossing fronts, a sort of border between two distinct oceanographic regions, which are characterized by different temperatures and salinities. These crossings between these different waters generate more intense circulations. These areas are particularly interesting for studying the transport of key nutrients and tracers. Each time a front passes southwards, we lose a few degrees Celsius, both in the water and in the air. Currently in the south of the Polar Front and at more than 52°S, we have sampled very cold bottom waters (-1.8°C), at 4800m depth. Today, Sunday, we set off again towards the North, in the direction of the Crozet Islands, there is a bit of wind as well, which slowed down our progress. We will arrive in Crozet on Tuesday at noon and will take a break for a few hours to admire the large penguin colony from the vessel, while a scientist from the base will come on board.

Time flies, we are already halfway through the expedition…

Storm © Pieter van Beek

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