February 28, 2024 at 12:42 pm

Californian Scientists Are Dyeing The Ocean Pink To Understand More About How Seawater And Freshwater Interact

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

We all know by now that the ocean is a mess, thanks to humans. Between melting ice caps, diminishing food sources, high mercury content in fish, the loss of coral reefs, and the giant trash heap floating out there like an island, it’s a lot.

Scientists everywhere are working to solve one problem or another, and hoping that eventually, they’ll be able to make a difference.

But why and how is dying the Pacific Ocean pink is helping?

Scientists at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and at the University of Washington say they’ve done it to study how freshwater outflows are mixing with the ocean surfzone.

Source: YouTube

The experiment is called Plumes in Nearshore Conditions, or PiNC.

Coastal oceanographer Sarah Giddings is leading the PiNC study.

“I’m excited because this research hasn’t been done before and it’s a really unique experiment.”

The team wants to investigate how freshwater, which is more buoyant and warmer than saltwater, interacts with the waves around Los Peñasquitos Lagoon in Torrey Pines State Beach and National Reserve.

They’re coloring the freshwater with environmentally safe dye so that they can track its progression.

They’re also using drones, sensors, and even a jetski fitted with a fluorometer that can measure light emitted from the dye.

Source: YouTube

There are sensors further out set to monitor salinity, temperature, the height of the waves, and ocean currents.

The researchers plan to release more dye in order to learn how sediment, pollutants, and larvae travel into the ocean through freshwater outflows.

“We’re bringing together a lot of different people with different expertise, such that I think it’s going to have some really great results and impacts. We will combine results from this experiment with an older field study and computer models that will allow us to make progress on understanding how these plumes spread.”

Check out the video!

If you’re a scientists, you probably think this is all very interesting.

For the rest of us, well…I think it would be very cool to visit a pink sea.

Thought that was fascinating? Here’s another story you might like: Why You’ll Never See A Great White Shark In An Aquarium