The underwater data loggers record seawater temperature data for a variety of scientific research studies in UK waters and further afield.
Tritonia Scientific Ltd. provides specialist diving support for
underwater scientific research projects, either university-based
programmes or in support of government agency science. Tritonia has
used Aquatic 2
Tinytag data loggers for many years, using divers to deploy and
retrieve these loggers as it removes the need for buoyed lines
rising to the surface which could be pulled up or run over by
The recorded data has been used in numerous studies across a
number of scientific disciplines. Aquatic temperature data is
important for understanding how ecosystems function and the
long-term consequences of anthropogenic drivers, for example, the
steady rise in greenhouse gas emissions, and dynamic changes in
temperatures. The monitoring takes place over a number of time
phases and at different depths depending on the nature of the
study, but some of the studies are now yielding long-term time
series of over 20 years.
Typically the data loggers are used to verify seawater
temperature proxies. An example of this is the long-lived mollusc
Arctica islandica which is used by scientists to generate
time-series using their growth rings. Tritonia's temperature
datasets can be used to match the modern growth rings against known
temperatures. Another use is to deploy the loggers over a
latitudinal range to generate temperature profiles against which
scientists can compare the growth rates of subtidal kelp species in
order to predict what the future impacts may be of warmer seas
around the UK.
The data loggers monitor the changes in seawater temperatures at
different depths, typically 10, 20 and 30 metres. Monitoring
intervals on the long-term time series are set to either 10 or 12
minutes. Most of the data loggers used on the long-term monitoring
have been deployed off the west coast of Scotland, but they have
also been used on short-term experiments in the tropics and in both
Polar Regions. The loggers are deployed in pairs just in case of
any losses or failures.
Martin Sayer is Tritonia's Managing Director and has used
Tinytags since the mid-1990s when they were the first product that
provided the capability of long-term temperature monitoring at low
costs. He comments, "We have simply stayed with the product because
of its reliability. The latest versions are easy to use and are
very resistant to being used in such a challenging environment.
They provide a reliable and cost-effective way of generating high
quality subtidal temperature datasets."
Cathy Clark from Gemini Data Loggers added, "It's great to know
how the Tinytags' reputation for quality and reliability is so
clearly demonstrated by their use over so many years in such a
range of interesting and valuable research."
The photograph shows a diver deploying the loggers for a
study in Belize.
The pdf shows a graph of a long-term monitoring dataset from
the seawaters around Saulmore, Scotland.