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Cave water sampling

Subterranean Sampling

Matt Charette, Meagan Gonneea, and Crystal Breier collect and test samples of groundwater in a cave on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The instrument behind Charette’s arm measures the salinity, pH, oxygen level, and other characteristics of the water, and the large container holds water that will later be analyzed for radium. Radium is a radioactive tracer that dissolves into the groundwater from the surrounding rocks and travels with the groundwater as it flows into the coastal ocean. The team is working to understand how trace elements and nutrients cycle in groundwater and how much groundwater flows into the nearby coastal ocean. (Photo by Sara Morales-Ojeda, CINVESTAV, Mexico, courtesy of Meagan Gonneea, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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