TECH Chinese icebreaker Xuelong-2 recovers sea-based buoys in Antarctica

TECH

Chinese icebreaker Xuelong-2 recovers sea-based buoys in Antarctica

CGTN

07:11, December 14, 2019

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(Photo: CGTN)

China's first domestically made polar icebreaker Xuelong-2 has recently placed and recovered buoys from the seabed in Antarctica's Prydz Bay.

This was the first time the icebreaker operated in Antarctica.

China's 36th Antarctic expedition team on Tuesday recovered a set of seabed buoys placed by the 34th expedition team in Antarctica's Prydz Bay, placing a new set of buoys the next day. 

The buoys equipped with different instruments and equipment are used to collect detailed data about the ocean, including temperature, salinity current and other hydrological factors. 

"The set of buoys we recovered were placed two years ago, and we must recover them this year. The buoys are mainly placed under water to avoid the actions on them by icebergs. They can record more than a year's data. They play a big role in collecting information on the annual change of the ocean," said He Jianfeng, chief scientist on Xuelong-2. 

"What we just recovered is a set of sediment trapping buoys. It trailed 24 bottles, one for each month. What it collected was the particles of sediments on the seabed. It collected data uninterruptedly for a year. The data are very valuable," said He. 

Xuelong-2 set off on its maiden polar voyage on October 15 from the city of Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province. 

Carrying 413 scientists, researchers and supporting staff members, the voyage is a major part of China's 36th Antarctic Expedition. 

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