PS124 - Weekly Report No. 3 | 15 - 21 February 2021

We are following a daily routine!

[22. February 2021] 

In terms of science, it is a good sign when members receiving ice cream as desert ask: “Is it Thursday or Sunday?” – and everybody starts to ponder. Thursday is seaman’s Sunday and, thus, lunch is something special.

However, one can only be sure after the second question has been answered: “Did they announce the meeting of the Scales Club today?” The Scales Club on Sunday morning is also a long-standing tradition on board. One has to project for next Sunday gains or losses of weight or no change. For any deviation by 500 grams one has to pay 50 Cents. The money will be donated to the Child-Cancer-Clinic at the University Rostock.

Following a daily routine, the sequence of stations and/or the kind of instruments used determine its rhythm (Photo 1). The rate of yield of the first one-and-a-half science weeks is remarkable as document by the numbers presented below. However, we ask the reader to help us calculating/estimating some relevant numbers. 


750 nautical miles of distance

How many kilometers?


658 km of sea floor scanned

How many iceberg scars detected?

Bentho-pelagic processes

14 square meters sampled

How many kilograms of sediments retrieved?

Mammal biology

2 seals, 2578 dives

How many dive-meters in total?


79819 liter sea water filtered

How many grams of microplastic?


Mooring recovery: 6643 m of rope, 112 instruments

How many moorings recovered?


20 km distance, 6000 photos

How often did we see an octopus?

Particle dynamics

27 profiles, 180 000 photos

How many GB of storage space?

Sea ice physics

30.76 m ice cores, 6.4 km snow and sea-ice thickness transects

How many hours on the ice floe?

Sea ice biology

6 bio-ice cores

How many filters stored?


Table 1: List of projects and their yield for the first one-and-a-half science weeks. OFOBS: Ocean Floor Observation and Bathymetry System.

Some of the questions will be answered next week, others only after a comprehensive sample analysis at the home institute – robust scientific results need time. However, we already can report about a ‘first ever’ – together with sensors for nitrate, chlorophyll, cDOM, and backscatter a particle camera, mounted to a sediment trap which drifted for roughly 40 hours, took 23 000 particle images (Photo 2).

PS124 sends regards from the southwestern (75 °S 36 °W) Weddell Sea – the dominant source region for the cold water masses of the Word Ocean below 2000 m depth.


Hartmut H. Hellmer (Chief Scientist)



Hartmut Hellmer

Scientific Coordination

Ingo Schewe
Ingo Schewe


Sanne Bochert
Sanne Bochert