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bottles and inlet lines of a programmable undersea water sampler

Medusa at Sea

The Medusa-like head of a programmable water sampler is prepared for deployment. The sampler, which is made by McLane Research Laboratories of East Falmouth, Mass., can collect up to 48 half-liter samples of water at timed intervals. It can withstand pressures to 5500 meters and can remain on station for up to 18 months. On a recent cruise to the axial seamounts on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, researcher Dave Butterfield of NOAA and the University of Washington recovered one sampler that had been deployed a year earlier, and set out another sampler that will collect samples over the coming year in an ongoing study of recent volcanic and hydrothermal vent activity. (Photo by Tom Lanagan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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