Editor’s Note: Field Reports are the unvarnished, unedited journal entries of marine researchers in the field. They are intended to give readers a unique, inside look at the day-to-day nature of field work, an essential part of all marine science. They should not be construed as representing the final conclusions or assessments of the study or of the principal investigator; merely a subjective account of the ongoing experience. We hope you enjoy this feature.
July 19th to 25th
Students are still working on simulations for the subsurface injection well. We are trying to determine the flow rate and pressure that would result through simulation so we can get the corresponding pumps and sized up tracer tanks. We need to settle on a flow rate so we can determine also how long we will have to run the generators, which we don’t want to run continuously. Right now, we are looking at between 4 and 10 hours of pumping at a very low tracer concentration. Which brings us to another variable that we need to settle on, the concentration of the tracer we mix up. If we mix a higher concentration then we won’t need to inject for so long, but there is a maximum concentration to consider coupled with a maximum pressure the well can take.
Something else we’re working on is our dissolved oxygen chamber or DOC. Basically it a cylinder with multiple fittings which is used to check the dissolved oxygen, DO, of samples we extract from our DO boxes in the ground. In order to assure the sample doesn’t come into contact with atmospheric oxygen, we needed a sealed chamber that we could pump full of nitrogen, then fill up with the water sample directly from the ground and into the chamber without any interference from the atmosphere. It was designed completely by the students here, and is also being built here as well.
Lastly, we are all excited about returning to Alaska for the second trip. Once again we will be staying on a boat for about 7 days, so it should be fun. The boat will be a little smaller for the same amount of people but we’ll manage.
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