The InFORM team is busy processing samples returned to us from our citizen scientist volunteers who collected seawater at various locations in November. When we receive the seawater we first filter it through a 1 micron ( 1 micron = 10-6 meter) cartridge to remove larger debris and sediments that might be present.
We remove the TidbiT Temperature sensor (Onset Hobo Data Loggers) and read out the data which tells us the seawater temperature at the time of sampling. A sample for is removed to measure the salinity as well. Knowing the temperature and salinity of the sample helps us to put understand something about the history of the seawater and how much it might influenced by river water or runoff from land. A small amount of non-radioactive cesium is then added to the sample to help us know how well we recover radioactive cesium in the next step.