Carrousel with six Niskin bottles | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

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Carrousel with six Niskin bottles

A carrousel with six Niskin bottles is used to take water samples. Using this device, water samples can be collected at various water depths by triggering the individual release mechanisms of the bottles. The Niskin bottles are commonly mounted on the carrousel together with a CTD instrument. The water collected by Niskin bottles can be used to study plankton or to measure the physical characteristics of the sea.

How does a Niskin bottle work?

The two stoppers at each end of the Niskin bottle, are held open by plastic cords attached to a release mechanism. In addition, the stoppers are connected by an elastic cord at the inside of the bottle. Attached to a cable, the open bottle(s) are lowered to a discreet depth in the water. When a small weight encircling the hydrographic line is released down the line, it strikes the release mechanism resulting in the two stoppers being pulled into the ends of the cylinder. As a result the water from that depth is trapped inside the Niskin bottle. When the Niskin bottles are grouped in a rosette, distinct weights can strike each individual release mechanism on the carrousel. In this way, water samples are collected from various water depths.  

Niskin bottle with indications. ©VLIZ

  Working of a weight in combination with the release machanism

  Water sampling


Usefulness of a carrousel with Niskin bottles?

  • A carrousel with Niskin bottles is a simple device to use in order to collect water samples within the water column at different depths.
  • Water samples can be used to study plankton.
  • Physical parameters of the seawater can be measured.

Some studies:

  • Monitoring the Belgian continental shelf and the Scheldt estuary:

Monitoring executed by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Monitoring of the seawater in the Belgian part of the North:

This monitoring is in the framework of the LifeWatch project.

Technical details

It is possible to assemble 6 Niskin bottles of 4 liters on the carrousel of VLIZ.

Borrow the carrousel with six Niskin bottles?

For more information about our rental service, please contact VLIZ

Use and conditions

Note: if you use the carrousel of VLIZ as a scientist, please refer to it in your publications as: 'This work was supported by data & infrastructure provided by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)'.