The microlayer skimmer proved to be incredibly valuable during the 2016 NETCARE field campaign on board the CCGS Amundsen. The skimmer was designed to collect large volumes of the sea surface microlayer in a time efficient manner compared to manual hand sampling methods. We prepared for using the skimmer in the field way back in 2015 at the IOS in Victoria, where we spent a week to familiarize ourselves with the equipment. Despite some initial challenges with the skimmer’s deployment during the campaign, the operation of the skimmer quickly became a routine and effective procedure.
Each time the skimmer was deployed, we would leave the Amundsen in a zodiac and tow the skimmer to a suitable sampling location. Working in the zodiac was a lot of fun and an excellent opportunity for us collect samples in the field. Deployments ranged between choppy conditions in the open Arctic ocean to calm waters amid large icebergs. In the end, we collected concurrent microlayer and subsurface water samples for nearly a dozen sampling locations to be analyzed for dimethyl sulphide, surfactants, ammonia, ice nucleating particles, and hygroscopicity.
I would like to give a special thanks to the Coast Guard crew for helping Vickie and I with each deployment and making everything run smoothly. Without their support, patience and expertise, we would not have been able to make the skimmer deployments a success.
-Matt Boyer, NETCARE graduate student, Dalhousie.