Scanning the water column

RV Heincke with Scanfish

Scanfish™ is a towed undulating vehicle system. Flaps control the up and down movement of the ‘fish’. Scanfishs™ are designed to carry several oceanographic sensors. While cruising the German Bight, the steady up and down movement generates a curtain-like data stream of millions of data points along the ship track that allows a detailed and quasi-synoptic view of the ocean.


temperature ">temperature
suspended matter
local water depth

Quasi-synoptic view of water temperatures (left) and chlorophyll a-fluorescence (right) from Scanfish™ data during a 10-day cruise in the German Bight, 28 July to 5 August 2009. Note the high fluorescence values in the cool deeper water layer in the north-west corner of the survey area indicating large phytoplankton concentrations in the lower and darker water column. (Note: Map not adjusted to north.)