A mooring consists of up to several kilometres of Kevlar rope, on which various instruments are mounted at certain distances. Buoyant floats attached to the rope keep the mooring almost vertically in the water column. They also force the mooring back to the surface upon release of the bottom weight. Usually, these floats are evacuated glass spheres of 17’’ diameter, which are protected by plastic covers. The floats are pressure resistant to 6,000 m water depth and are amazingly robust. Each single float gives a buoyancy of about 25 kg. Releasers are situated right above the bottom weight. These instruments are mechanical actuators which will separate the mooring line from the bottom weight upon an acoustical signal sent by the mother ship.
Moorings may be equipped with a variety of different oceanographic measuring and sampling devices; so far we limit ourselves to Aanderaa current meters and sediment traps supplied by the German company K.U.M..The acoustic current meters we use determine the current speed and direction in pre-selected time intervals by evaluating the Doppler effect of the surrounding waters at the respective depth. The sediment traps catch particles of biotic and abiotic origin that sink through the water column. As the particles are preserved in vials that can be exchanged by a revolver system at predetermined time intervals, the seasonal variability in particle flux can be determined with a temporal resolution of a few days to several weeks.
Lalande, C., Bauerfeind, E. & E.-M. Nöthig (2011). Downward particulate organic carbon export at high temporal resolution in the eastern Fram Strait: Influence of Atlantic Water on flux composition. Marine Ecology Progress Series 440: 127-136.
Bauerfeind, E. , Nöthig, E. M. , Beszczynska, A. , Fahl, K. , Kaleschke, L. , Kreker, K. , Klages, M. , Soltwedel, T. , Lorenzen, C. & J. Wegner (2009). Variations in vertical particle flux in the Eastern Fram Strait (79°N/4°E) during 2000-2005. Results from the Deep-Sea Long-Term observatory HAUSGARTEN. Deep Sea Research I 56: 1471-1487.