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A mechanism which measures depths in water.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a device for collecting water samples from a given depth of a natural body of water in order to investigate water’s physical and chemical properties and the organic and inorganic impurities it contains. Bathometers are classified into instantaneous and time-lapse collectors, according to the principles by which they operate. The sea bathometer, which collects samples instantaneously, is a hollow metal cylinder with self-closing lids at the butts, equipped with reversing thermometers. It is lowered vertically into the sea on a cable, with the lids in an open position. On reaching a given depth, a weight is lowered on the cable, releasing the mechanism which closes the lids and turns the bathometer upside down together with the thermometers. (This fixes the temperature which had been recorded at the given depth.) The Zhukovskii river bathometer is constructed on a similar principle, but is different from the sea bathometer in that it is lowered in a horizontal position so that the water flows freely through it.

The time-lapse bathometer—the bottle bathometer and vacuum bathometer—is a container filled with water at a given speed, which is close to the speed of the current at the point of submersion. In addition to the above, there are also bottom bathometers—trap bathometers and sludge bathometers—that collect sediments carried by the river along its bottom or measure the amount of ice crystals carried in the water.


Snezhinskii, V. A. Prakticheskaia okeanografiia (Raboty v ot-krytom more), 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1954. Chapter 14.
Blizniak, E. V. Vodnye issledovaniia, 5th ed. Moscow, 1952. Chapter 8.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.