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Hard hats

Ocean Work Hats

When scientists leave instruments in the ocean to do long-term measurements, they need a way to keep their gear afloat. One way to keep them from sinking is to use glass balls encased inside hard yellow plastic "hard hats." Chains link the hard hats together, and fasten them to miles of line strung with oceanographic insturments positioned at various depths under a large subsurface or surface float. WHOI scientist John Toole and colleagues used these moorings to study the Gulf Stream at Line W, a stretch of water southeast of Cape Cod that scientists have monitored for years. (Photo by John Lund, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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