Project Robokelp

Data logger being attached to kelps at Pyramid Rocks, Cape Town (© Thomas Wernberg)
Data logger being attached to kelps at Pyramid Rocks, Cape Town (© Thomas Wernberg)

Yesterday saw the start of Project Robokelp, which will shed light onto the the role of dense kelps beds of Ecklonia maxima in influencing the hydrodynamics of the nearshore waters around the Cape Peninsula, and hopefully further afield.

Electronic loggers capable of measuring acceleration in three dimensions, temperature, and light intensity were installed as part of a pilot project onto two kelps in waters of around 5-6 m deep. The data will allow us to understand how kelps modify the hydrodynamics in and around kelps, and if kelps are able to facilitate the warming of surface waters around the beds. Data will not only benefit the Kelps and Climate Change Programme, but also enhance our understanding of the finer scale nuances of the thermal regime of seawater along our coastline. Sam Bolton and Robert Schlegel will process the data as part of their MSc and PhD degrees, respectively.

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