It’s hard to imagine, but wound up here on what looks like a giant cotton reel, is 4,000 metres of synthetic rope.
That’s 4 kilometres!
The team at the moorings workshop at the CSIRO Hobart Marine Laboratories have ordered it in, as they’ll be heading down to the Southern Ocean next April with Professor Tom Trull, from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, to retrieve a mooring and replace it with a new one.
The Southern Ocean is pretty harsh on the components of the mooring, so just to be safe the mooring line is replaced every time its swapped over. The mooring has a GPS on it, which means we always know where it is.
The Southern Ocean surface moorings are funded by IMOS, the Integrated Marine Observing System, you should have a look at the work they do!
Here’s an animation about how moorings are deployed from RV Investigator and the kinds of science data they collect.