Collection of water samples from an autonomous underwater vehicle for tracer analysis

Paul A. Dodd, Martin R. Price, Karen J. Heywood, Miles Pebody

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13 Citations (Scopus)


A compact water sampler rated to full ocean depth has been deployed from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to enable oceanographic tracer measurements. Techniques developed to allow the instrument to collect up to 49 samples of sufficient purity for tracer measurement without the need for extensive flushing have increased its sampling frequency, allowing a 200-mL seawater sample to be collected in 10 min. This is achieved by flushing the instrument and sample containers before deployment with a fluid of known properties that can be detected after recovery using salinity analysis. A deployment in which water samples were collected for oxygen isotope ratio analysis is presented as an example. Factors limiting the reliability of the instrument when deployed from an AUV are identified and procedures are developed to address critical problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1767
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Water samplers
  • Tracer measurements
  • Instrument flushing
  • Sampling instruments
  • Flushing time

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