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by Kerri Fredrickson from the Northwest Explorer 


I’m an oceanographer on the first leg of the Gulf of Alaska Project summer cruise on the NW Explorer. I’ve been deploying the CTD to obtain a vertical profile (see illustration) of the water column to show us how physical (light, temperature, salinity) and biological (fluorescence) parameters vary with depth. The near-surface waters of our profile indicate the mixed layer, which is a range of depths where salinity and temperature measurements remain the same. 



During our initial vertical profiles, the mixed layer extended approximately 25 meters from the surface. Below 25 meters, the measurements varied. After the large storm that blew through on July 4th and 5th, we can propose that the large amount of turbulence generated from the storm caused the mixed layer to extend all the way down to 40 meters! It will be interesting to see how the mixed layer responds to the calmer weather we are hoping for.

http://www.nprb.org/assets/images/uploads/blog/Kerri_n_chart.jpg