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A RAFOS float.

Big Fish Bite?

WHOI physical oceanographer Amy Bower uses Range and Fixing of Sound (RAFOS) floats like this one to track the movement of water in the ocean. The float drifts with currents at a specified depth, recording its position, water temperature, and pressure. Once the float's mission is completed, a small, silver U-shaped “burnwire” dissolves, releasing a steel weight. The float then rises to the surface where it transmits its data via satellite to scientists back on land. This float washed up on the shore of Padre Island, Texas, with its burnwire intact, suggesting its weight had been bitten off—most likely by a swordfish or mako shark. (Photo by Cody Moravits, Friends of Padre)


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