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## What Does GTS Mean in Scuba Diving?

**Glossary of Scuba Diving Terms**

GTS stands for “Gas Time to Surface” and refers to the amount of time it takes to ascend to the surface of the water while ascending at a safe rate. It is calculated based on the depth of the dive, the diver’s breathing rate, and their decompression profile.

**How GTS is Calculated**

GTS is typically calculated using a dive computer or a dive table. Dive computers automatically calculate GTS based on the diver’s depth, elapsed time, and breathing rate. Dive tables provide pre-calculated GTS for various depths and ascent rates.

**Importance of GTS**

GTS is crucial for safe scuba diving as it provides divers with the necessary information to avoid decompression sickness (DCS). DCS occurs when a diver ascends too quickly, causing nitrogen bubbles to form in their body. These bubbles can block blood vessels, leading to serious health issues.

**Factors Affecting GTS**

* **Depth of the dive:** Deeper dives require longer GTS due to the higher pressure at depth, which results in increased nitrogen absorption.
* **Diving time:** Longer dives consume more breathing gas, reducing the diver’s gas supply for the ascent.
* **Diver’s breathing rate:** Divers who breathe more quickly consume more gas, reducing their GTS.
* **Decompression profile:** Diving involves mandatory decompression stops at certain depths to allow the body to release dissolved nitrogen. These stops increase the GTS.

**Determining GTS**

* **Dive computer:** Modern dive computers provide real-time GTS calculations during the dive.
* **Dive table:** Refer to the GTS table for the specific depth and ascent rate of the planned dive.
* **Rule of thumb:** As a general rule of thumb, a GTS of at least twice the maximum depth is recommended to minimize the risk of DCS.

**Additional Tips for Safe Ascent**

* **Ascend slowly:** Follow the recommended ascent rate to avoid exceeding the safe GTS.
* **Make safety stops:** Observe appropriate decompression stops to allow nitrogen to escape from the body.
* **Monitor buoyancy:** Maintain neutral buoyancy during the ascent to prevent uncontrolled ascents.
* **Check gauges regularly:** Monitor the dive computer and depth gauge to ensure you are within the safe GTS limit.
* **Do a safety stop:** Always make a safety stop of at least 3 minutes at 5 meters (15 feet) before surfacing.

**Conclusion**

GTS is a critical concept in scuba diving that helps prevent decompression sickness. By understanding GTS and following safe ascent procedures, divers can enjoy their underwater adventures safely and responsibly.

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