Science News

2046 Meters! Kon-Tiki2 Sends CTD Sensors to Record Depths

In a record-breaking deep-water measurement, the Kon-Tiki2 Expedition launched a CTD sensor that reached 2046 meters (6712 ft) below the Tupac Yupanqui raft. Even more impressively, the CTD was brought safely back to the raft. Kon-Tiki2 is sailing two balsa rafts roundtrip from South America to Easter Island. Along the way, they are documenting climate change, marine life, plastics, pollution, guara board navigation, and of course, human reactions to Pacific sunsets.

 

CTD stands for conductivity, temperature and depth, which translates to measuring salinity and temperature at various depths in the ocean. The Kon-Tiki2 CTD also measures oxygen levels and chlorophyll. The team can reveal that the temperature 2046 meters below us is 2.343°C, but they say they will leave it to NIVA's scientists to decode the rest of the data, which was recovered from the CTD when it resurfaced.

The CTD was tied to the raft with an almost 4000 meters long rope, patched together from kevlar spaghetti with triple fishermen knots. Due to surface wind and ocean currents, the rope had a significant angle which explains why the CTD did not reach further down. On a calmer day, today's impressive record — a first from a balsa raft — may be broken.

Kon-Tiki2's Chief Scientist Cecilie Mauritzen expressed gratitude to the selfless crew who donated all of the day’s solar power to the winch that brought the CTD back from the abyss.

ECO Magazine will feature a very special letter from Kon-Tiki2 Chief Scientist Cecilie Mauritzen in our January / February 2016 issue. Don’t miss it!

For more on this amazing voyage, click here.

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