Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Questionnaire

SeepC GoM


R/V Atlantis


AUV Sentry, HOV Alvin

Cruise Party

Cliff Cunningham: Principal Investigator
Duke University 130 Science Drive Durham, NC US 27708
+1 919 660 7356

David Eggleston: Principal Investigator
NC State University 303 College Circle Morehead City, NC US 27695
+1 919 515 7840

Ruoying He: Principal Investigator
North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC US 27695
+1 919 513 0249

Svetlana Maslakova: Principal Investigator
University of Oregon P.O. BOX 5389 Charleston, OR US 97420
+1 541 888 2581 ext. 309

Cindy Van Dover: Principal Investigator, Chief Scientist
Duke University Marine Laboratory 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd Beaufort, NC US 28516
+1 252 504 7655

Craig Young: Principal Investigator
University of Oregon Oregon Institute of Marine Biology P.O. BOX 5389 Charleston, OR US 97420
+1 541 888 2581 ext. 299

Departure: Gulfport on May 21, 2014

Arrival: St Petersburg FL on Jun 14, 2014

Mobilization Date: May 19, 2014

Demobilization Date: Jun 15, 2014

Supporting documentation:


Operations Area: Gulf of Mexico


Depth Range: min / max (m)

Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? no

Science objectives

The primary objective of the SeepC Project is to advance our general knowledge of connectivity in the deep sea using taxa found at seeps as model systems. The focus is on species and processes occurring in the Intra-American Sea (including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and eastern seaboard of the US), with attention to oceanographic circulation, life histories, and genetics.  Questions that apply in shallow-water systems motivate this study:

  1. What phylogeographic breaks occur in the system? It is important to distinguish between phylogeography and connectivity.  A phylogeographic break implies a long history of isolation or possibly cryptic speciation, while genetic population structure indicates gene flow is reduced, but still ongoing or recent. 
  2. Do collections from different sites indicate a panmictic population of a given species?  This is the fundamental question about connectivity and the scale of population genetic variation in marine species with planktonic larvae and it comprises extent of gene flow, directionality, and relative contributions.
  3. What bio-physical processes underlie observed connectivities?  Biological processes (e.g., larval distributions in the water column, timing of reproduction, and planktonic larval duration) and physical processes of transport and dispersion interact to determine connectivity.

Our efforts include improving the oceanographic model for the IAS near the seabed using current data from moorings at several depths and locations and coupling this model to a Lagrangian larval transport model.  We stress the importance of iterative interactions among the science teams to advance our understanding of connectivity in the deep sea through descriptive and hypothesis-driven research.   We will develop effective and best methods for hypothesis testing under the constraints of working in a relatively inaccessible environment and will build capacity in understanding connectivity in deep-sea systems.

Science Activities

Three primary study sites: 
Leg 1:
i) Brine Pool/GC
ii) Alaminos Canyon

Leg 2:
i) Florida Escarpment

GC petroleum site (adjacent to Brine Pool) 27 44.7N 91 13.3W 540 m (Green Canyon lease 234) Bergquist et al. 2005 tubeworms and mussels
Brine Pool NR1 27 43'24"N 91 16'30"W 650 m (Green Canyon lease 233) Bergquist et al. 2005 childressi
Brine Pool NR1 27:43°N 91:17°W 640 m    
Alaminos Canyon 645 26°21.267198 94°29.899938′W 2213 m Kellogg 2010  
Alaminos Canyon 645 26.3545 −94.4998 2240 m Roberts et al 2010  
Alaminos Canyon 645 26.3714 −94.4969 2223 m Roberts et al 2010  
Alaminos Canyon 645 26-21.34N 94-29.84W 2230 m Alvin 3625 tubeworms, clams, mussels
FE 26 01.8N 84 54.9W 3288 Turnipseed et al. 2004; Alvin 3634-3636  

MC853 28 07.6N, 89 08.5W; 1075 m

DC583 28 23.1N, 87 23.3W; 2445 m


1) Two mooring recoveries

Brine Pool NR1
Released 11/5/13, 0830
27deg43.394'N, 091deg16.753'W

Alaminos Canyon
Released 11/6/13, 1448
26deg21.300'N, 095deg29.799'W

Each of the train wheel anchors has wood and bone bags to be recovered as well as a 4-tube larval trap.   Both moorings use non-impolodable volume floats (syntactic foam or plastic).  The Brine Pool mooring also has a small float with a small spar and orange flag for visibility at the surface. 

2) One Mooring deployment (Florida Escarpment)
similar configuration as those recovered

3) Alvin seep sampling
mussels, clams, tubeworms, and associated animals; targeting at least 30 individuals per species (manips, net, slurp) 

4) Sentry plankton sampling 
Strategies TBD in consultation with Sentry team, but perhaps a series of pump runs directly above seep sites (lowest possible altitude; sampling a constrained area, on the order of 100 m x 100 m (?); multiple heights above bottom (lowest, 10 m, 50 m, 100 m etc?)

5) MOCNESS tows
Strategies TBD - would be great to plan a simple experiment to compare Sentry and MOCNESS

6) Sentry high-resolution mapping of Fl Esc wall

7) Sentry high-resolution maps of all seep areas (imaging and bathymetry)

8) CTD casts

9) XBTs

10) Hydrophone

Pre-cruise planning meeting: Teleconference

an initial teleconference is scheduled for 13 Jan, 1500-1700 with WHOI operators


  St Pete
  Distance: 172
  Days: null

  Florida Escarpment_3288 m
  Distance: 192
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 26° 1.8’ N
  Longitude: 84° 54.9’ W

  DC583_2445 m
  Distance: 148
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 28° 23.1’ N
  Longitude: 87° 23.3’ W

  Distance: 425
  Days: 1

  Alaminos Canyon_2213 m
  Distance: 195
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 26° 21.27’ N
  Longitude: 94° 29.9’ W

  Brine Pool_650 m
  Distance: 3
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 27° 43.4’ N
  Longitude: 91° 16.5’ W

  GC234_540 m
  Distance: 115
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 27° 44.7’ N
  Longitude: 91° 13.3’ W

  MC853_1075 m
  Distance: 165
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 28° 7.6’ N
  Longitude: 89° 8.5’ W

Funding Agency: NSF #1031050

- added NSF #1031050 on Jan 3, 2014 3:32 PM by Prof Cindy Lee Van Dover

R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

Fume Hood
Bathymetry System 12 kHz
Deionized Water System
Navigation - Position
Science Underway Seawater System

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet

CTD/Water Sampling

911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors


Sample Storage

Climate Controlled Walk-in
Freezer -70°C 25 cu. ft.
Freezer -70°C 3.2 cu. ft. ea.
Refrigerator 8.6 cu. ft.
Scientific Walk-in Freezer

Storage Notes: NB: We would like two walk-in spaces temperature controlled, one set a the ambient temperaure at 450 m, the other set at near-freezing. I.e., both at refrigerator T (7C, 3-4C). I checked the 'walk-in freezer' as the place holder for these two walk-in needs.  We will supply temperatures.


Will you be using Long Base Line (LBL) navigation? no

Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation for other than Alvin operations? no



Navigation Notes: For navigation and maps, we defer a final decision until consultation with the Alvin and Sentry operators.  There is a lot of high resolution mapping already completed for the GoM; we need to discover how to find the right type of files and would value advice.

Winch Notes: We will recover moorings; MOORING TEAM, please complete this section.

Wire use and application

CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire

Wire Notes:
Slip ring required? no Number of conductors: 
Non-standard wire required? no Type: 
Traction winch required? no Describe: 

Other Science Vans:

Specialized Deck Equipment

Mooring Deployment/Recovery Equipment Required: no Type: 
Cruise Specific Science Winch Required: no Type: 
Nets Required: no Type: 

Over the Side Equipment

Will you be bringing any equipment (winches, blocks, etc.) that lowers instruments over the side? yes

Details: MOORING TEAM: Please request the BIG POWER acoustic release command box!

Special Requirements

Elecrical Power: no Identify: 
Equipment Handling: no Identify: 
Inter/intraship Communications: no Identify: 
Science Stowage: no Identify: 
Water: no Identify: 

Additional Cruise Items/Activities

Explosive Devices: no
Portable Air Compressors: no
Flammable Gases: no
Small Boat Operations: no
SCUBA Diving Operations: no

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized? yes

Describe deployment method and quantity:
We will use small volumes of formalin and alcohol to preserve specimens.

CRAIG YOUNG: Add your larval trap chemicals

Radioactive Material

Radioiosotopes: no

Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise? yes

Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other): MOCNESS, SENTRY

Other required equipment and special needs: 

HOV Alvin

Site Survey

Will you provide detailed charts of the work area(s)?  yes

Current Chart(s):

If no, willl you need R/V Atlantis to generate maps of the work area(s)?  no

Will you need post-dive maps of the work area generated?  no


Will you be using Long Base Line (LBL) navigation? no

Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation for other than Alvin operations? yes

Vehicle Equipment

Bio collection boxes: 12 x 12 x 12
Bio collection boxes: 12 x 12 x 24
Large capacity slurp samplers: multi-chamber
Scoop nets
Push corers (12-pack rack)
Small capacity slurp samplers

What type of samples do you expect to collect?
invertebrates - the usual: mussels, clams, tube worms, shrimp, snails, etc


Will you be using elevators to transport samples to the surface?  no
If yes, how many would you anticipate? 

Science Supplied Equipment

Are you supplying equipment to be used on HOV Alvin?  yes

Has this equipment been used on Alvin before?  no

Please give a brief description of the equipment, its intended purpose, the cruise # it was last used on if any and its deployment method.
hydrophone: D Eggleston is PI and will provide info; Sentry notes.

Does this equipment use an external pressure housing?  yes

Has the pressure housing been tested per Alvin Pressure Test requirements?  no

Does the equipment have an associated computer or control panel for remote operation from the personnel sphere? no

Has the computer or control panel been gas tested for use in the personnel sphere?  no

Air weight of this equipment?

Does the equipment require data or a power interface from the vehicle?  no

Does the equipment meet the electrical requirements of the Alvin User Manual?  no

Wiring diagram required for this equipment.

Does this equipment require hydraulic inputs from the vehicle?  no
Hydraulic schematic of the equipment requirements.

Does this equipment require manipulation?  no

If yes, please describe how the equipment is to be manipulated: 

Will this equipment be deployed off the vehicle?  no

If yes, please describe how the equipment is intended for deployment: 

If yes, will the equipment be disconnected from the vehicle and left in situ?  no

How long will the deployment be? 

Will the equipment be recovered by the same vehicle?  no

Do you intend to recover any other previously deployed equipment?  no

If yes, please describe this equipment: 

Does this equipment use any glass spheres for either buoyancy or as pressure housings?  no

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized? no

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments:
We are very interested in conducting two dives per day at the shallow sites (Brine Pool and GC234).

Date Submitted: Feb 25, 2014 10:48 AM by Eric Benway