As I wrote previously, all our microbial mat samples are collected by the divers in our team. AND the divers are back in the water! The diving is happening through a hole in the ice. It takes several days to make the hole. First a smaller hole is drilled and then a coil called a hot finger is used to widen the hole to ca 1 m in diameter.
We are not only collecting benthic cyanobacterial mat samples, but the divers are also collecting water from above the microbial mats for nutrient analysis and to determine oxygen concentration, as well as measuring the light conditions under the ice.
The scientific diving at Lake Fryxell is done with surface supplied air and there are always several dive tenders at each dive. Their responsibilities include tendering to the tethered diver or operating the console for the air supply and communication between the tender and diver.
We are getting ready for a dive
My job is dive tender
It is the end of a dive and we are getting the diver out of the water
Full face mask diving set-up