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deployment of a winched profiler in the Beaufort Sea

Working Under Ice

To work under Arctic ice and in rough seas, researchers rely on bright, buoyant, and tough equipment. In fall 2011, crew and researchers aboard the United States Coast Guard icebreaker Healy deployed a winched profiler during an expedition to the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. Once a day the profiler rose on a tether from the seafloor, measuring and recording the pressure, temperature, and salinity throughout the water column. When it reached the underside of sea ice, a winch engaged, quickly pulling the profiler back down the tether to avoid being crushed. The cruise was led by WHOI physical oceanographer Robert Pickart, who will return to the Beaufort Sea this October to continue his research. (Photo by Donglai Gong, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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