OSD sampling was performed for the third time at Helgoland in the North Sea, about 60 km off the estuaries of the Elbe and Weser rivers. Orginally, I (Anna Klindworth, OSD Coordinator, MPI-Bremen) was supposed to join the sampling campaign but due to challenging weather conditions it was impossible for me to reach the island in time. Luckily the crew and scientists from the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland (BAH) have a lot of experience with the rough sea and they were still able to sample despite the weather. In the meantime heavy rain caused a “flash flood” in the basement of the institute. This incident severely hampered the sampling effort as the necessary filtration equipment is stored downstairs. For a short while it was unsure whether they would be able take OSD samples at all, but Team Helgoland successfully overcome this problem as well. With combined team power they were able to pump the water out in time!
Despite the whole stress, OSD Site Coordinator Dr. Antje Wichels managed to filter the OSD samples and took the opportunity to test their new filtration construction for the first time. It has been designed by Dr. Gunnar Gerdts and built by in-house technicians for future large scale sampling campaigns using Sterivex filters. The construction worked well and it was possible to filter up to 6 samples at the same time, but it also revealed room for improvement. This clearly shows the benefit of a pilot study which gives us enough time to prepare and optimize protocols for the main OSD event.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Antje, Gunnar and Team Helgoland for their sampling effort despite all incidents. And also thanks to all other OSD participants for reporting and exchanging experience. Every habitat has its own conditions and your observations help us a lot to optimize the protocols.
|Samples from OSD pilot study summer 2013|
|Sampling Boat "Aade" from the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland. Photo has been taken when the sun was shining :)|