China launches deep-sea subsurface moorings in Antarctic waters

Updated 2018-02-13 09:48:05

China has launched two sets of deep-sea subsurface moorings in Antarctic waters in an effort to monitor seawater over the long term in a high-tech engineering move that a Chinese expert said would better protect the region.

The deep-sea subsurface mooring sets were launched by the xiangyanghong01, a ship belonging to the first institute of oceanography at the State Oceanic Administration.

They contain a main floating body, cables, a sea current meter, conductivity-temperature-depth system and a release, the Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

This is the first time China launched a deep-sea subsurface mooring set in the region and the system was fixed at a designated spot to operate for at least one year under the sea, Xinhua said.

"When the deep-sea subsurface mooring set is retrieved, research fellows can acquire data about the ocean current, temperature and salinity over a long period of time," institute chief Li Tiegang was cited by Xinhua as saying.

The data, especially recordings made under extreme weather conditions, is of great research value and scientific significance, Li said.

"China has strengthened scientific research efforts in the Antarctic in recent years, which is of great importance. This research, closely related to physics, geology and biology, is significant for basic science," Dong Yue, a research fellow at the polar research institute of the Ocean University of China in Qingdao, told the Global Times. China would help build knowledge and protect the area, he said.

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