22 August 2016
Dr Wiebke Schmidt, from the University of Exeter, gives an account of the re-deployment of ShellEye sampling equipment after Storm Imogen.
In March 2016 the ShellEye Team members from the University of Exeter successfully re-deployed the sampling buoy mooring. Throughout the winter of 2015-2016 the southwest of England experienced a series of low-pressure weather system storms and during storm Imogen (February 2016), the smaller A3 buoy became disconnected from the main 100 L float.
Thanks to a local fisherman the disconnected A3 buoy, including the scientific instrument rope, was recovered and handed in to the harbour commissioner in Looe.
After investigation it was found that the rope between the A3 buoy and the 100 L float had been cut, but it is unclear if this was due to the position of a split pin at the shackle with the A3 buoy (rubbing through the rope during the storm) or if a boat had become entangled in the mooring and cut through the rope. In case it was the former, the design has now been modified to include an extra shackle to move the spliced rope away from the split pin.
All scientific instruments were still attached to the rope and unharmed. The team used this occasion to clean and maintain all sensors as well as to attach an additional sensor, which will measure the partial CO2 pressure every 3 hours. This new sensor will enable the team to investigate the carbonate system around the shellfish farm.