DEPTH Blog

The most useful snippets from our authors, all in one place. DEPTH discusses topics of diving, equipment and environment, physics and physiology, technique and technology, and hyperbarics.

The 2 Ways to Enter An Ice Dive

While it is approaching summer here in the northern hemisphere, down in Antarctica it is close to winter, where temperatures plummet to -50 degrees and darkness prevails for months. Scientists rarely dive under these conditions, but it has occurred in the past.

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Under the Ice in Antarctica

NSF Polar Programs Diving Safety Officer prepares for a dive on the Poseidon Se7en rebreather under the ice in Antarctica. Wearing a dry suit with heated undergarments and dry gloves keeps the divers warm (enough) to do their work in the -1.8C water.

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Working in a Blue Water Environment

Scientific divers often work in remote areas, and sometimes far offshore.

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Researching the Use of Rebreathers Under the Ice

John Heine, author of Cold Water Diving: A Guide to Ice Diving, travels to places such as Antarctica (pictured below) to oversee scientific diving through the U.S. Antarctic Program of the National Science Foundation. In the photo belog he is researching the use of rebreathers under the ice, as well as various new strategies to stay warm with the use of active (electric) heated undergarments.

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This is What Scientific Diving Looks Like

In the below image a scientific diver works in a deep kelp bed in central California.  She is measuring the percent cover of various marine algae as a part of her Master’s thesis.

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