Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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R/V Atlantis


HOV Alvin

Cruise Party

Andrew Fisher: Principal Investigator
UCSC 1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA USA 95064
+1 831 459 5598

Samuel Hulme: Principal Investigator
Moss Landing Marine Laboratory USA
+1 831 359 1907

Geoffrey Wheat: Principal Investigator, Chief Scientist
University of Alaska Fairbanks P.O. BOX 757200 Fairbanks, AK USA 99775
+1 831 633 7033

Departure: Nov 30, 2014

Puntarenas Costa rica

Arrival: Dec 12, 2014

Puntarenas Costa Rica

Operations Area

86 to 88 degrees west 8 to 10 degrees north (TicoFlux site) and CR CORKs
Lat/Lon: 9° 0.0′ N / 87° 0.0′ W
Depth Range: 3000 / 3300
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? Costa Rica
Are visas or special travel documents required? no

Science Objectives

Intellectual Merit: Scientific Motivation and Proposed Program

            Most of the advective heat loss from the oceanic lithosphere occurs on "ridge flanks”, areas far from the magmatic influence of seafloor spreading. Global hydrothermal fluid flows to and from the seafloor on ridge flanks, driven by lithospheric cooling and influenced by basement relief and variations in sediment thickness, are of the same magnitude as the flows from all of Earth's rivers and streams to the oceans. Yet, pristine fluids from a typical ridge-flank hydrothermal system have never been sampled, mainly because it has not been possible to locate a site of focused discharge where representative samples could be collected. We have located a small basement feature, Dorado outcrop, on 23 m.y.-old seafloor on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise, that is hypothesized to discharge 103–104 L/s of cool (10–20°C) hydrothermal fluid that carries 200-350 MW of lithospheric heat, equivalent to the heat output of a black-smoker vent field.

            We propose to sample this fluid to determine its composition, and to assess the rate of discharge from Dorado outcrop, so that we can quantify the chemical impact of this hydrothermal system. The physical and chemical state of this fluid is typical of fluids that extract heat from the crust and exchange solutes with the overlying ocean across much of the seafloor. Collection of uncontaminated samples from this feature will provide the most accurate estimates of the global impact of ridge-flank hydrothermal circulation. We anticipate that this fluid will be modestly different in composition from bottom seawater, which is why collection of pristine samples is so important, because of the relatively low temperatures of reaction and short residence time of the fluid within basaltic basement. Despite being slightly altered, fluid of this kind can have a large influence on the geochemical budgets of important solutes in the ocean because the flows are so large (from both Dorado outcrop and on a global basis).

            We will conduct an eleven dive operation with the submersible Alvin to collect fluids, rocks and sediment, retrieve experiments deployed in 2013, and measure temperature in the venting fluids and in the sediment. These data and samples will be combined to generate the first well-constrained estimates of hydrothermal flows from Dorado outcrop


Broader Impacts

            Undergraduate and graduate students and a junior faculty member (Hulme) will gain experience by participating in this program and through the development of ROV manipulated samplers and sensors. Results of this work will be broadcast in publications, theses, presentations (to scientific and lay audiences), and in K-16 curriculum development. The P.I.s have strong histories of involvement in educational and outreach programs at multiple levels. Wheat and Hulme are developing hands-on science-technology packages to engage K-8 students during week-long learning opportunities that include three technology-based activities per grade level and meet national science, mathematics, and language arts standards. Fisher will involve university students through USCS’s Institute for Scientist and Engineering Educators and Cal Teach programs. Wheat and Fisher are involved in the NSF-funded Science Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI). Materials from this expedition will be incorporated in C-DEBI education and outreach activities, reaching a diverse audience that includes K-8 students in the Los Angeles area.

Science Activities

We will use the submersible Alvin to collect fluids, sediment, rocks, and make measurements of heat flow and temperature.
We also will collect water using the CTD
We will use the multi-beam system on the Atlantis to map areas that were missed in 2013.
We will conduct a gravity coring operaiton at night.

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Teleconference


  TicoFlux Outcrop area 8-10 N and 86 to 88 W
  Distance: null
  Days: null

  Tengosed Outcrop
  Distance: 10
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 9° 10.0’ N
  Longitude: 87° 0.0’ W

  Tico Flux Outcrops and Seamounts
  Distance: 20
  Days: 3
  Latitude: 9° N
  Longitude: 87° W

  Dorado Outcrop
  Distance: 100
  Days: 10
  Latitude: 87° 7.0’ N
  Longitude: 9° 5.0’ W

Supporting documentation:



Funding Agency: NSF
Grant or contract number: 1130146

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

12 kHz Pinger for Wire Use
Bathymetry System 12 kHz
Deionized Water System
Fume Hood
Navigation - Heading
Navigation - Position
Relay Transponder for Wire Use
Sippican XBT System (Mark 21)
Transponder Navigation - Sonardyne USBL
Bathymetry System 3.5 kHz

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet

CTD/Water Sampling

911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors
SBE43 oxygen sensor
Wet Labs C*Star transmissometer (660nm wavelength)

Critical CTD Sensors

we will bring a gravity coring system

Sediment Sampling

Gravity corers

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.
Storage Notes: We will probably want both walk in refrigeration units  at 4degrees C.  Often one is at 4C and the other at -20C.  We will probably want both set to 4C


Will you be using Long Base Line (LBL) navigation? no
How many nets? null
How many tansponders? null
Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation?no


Navigation Notes: We need navigation for Alvin, the gravity cores, and possible elevators.  Science will bring their own gravity corer (Beth Orcutt).


CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Trawl Winch with .681 fiber optic
Hydro Winch with .25" hydro wire
Winch Notes: We will conduct a few CTDs and need a wire for gravity coring

Wire use and application

CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Trawl Winch with .681 fiber optic
Hydro Winch with .25" hydro wire
Winch Notes: We will conduct a few CTDs

Standard Oceanographic Cables

Slip ring required? no
Non-standard wire required? no
Traction winch required? no

Portable Vans

Chemical Storage Van

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: we will bring a gravity corer

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:

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yes
Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
we will conduct the gravity coring and we will need help setting up the CTD
Other required equipment and special needs:

Scientific Instrumentation for HOV Alvin

Current Chart(s):

What type of samples do you expect to collect?push cores, fluids, rocks, and temperature Also we will bring a heat flow probe as back up to the alvin heat flow probe null null null

Site Survey

Will you provide detailed charts of the work area(s)?yes
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
How many nets? 0
How many tansponders? 0
Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation for other than Alvin operations?no

Vehicle Equipment

Push corers (12-pack rack)
Search sonar
Low temperature probe
Scoop nets
Bio collection boxes: 12 x 12 x 12
Bio collection boxes: 12 x 12 x 24
Major (dual) pair water sampler(s) with ICL temperature probles


Will you be using elevators to transport samples to the surface?yes
If yes, how many would you anticipate? 1 maybe

Science Supplied Equipment

Are you supplying equipment to be used on HOV Alvin yes
Has this equipment been used on Alvin before? yes
Please give a brief description of the equipment, its intended purpose, the cruise # it was last used on if any and its deployment method.
heat flow probe
Come to think of it we wnat to add an oxygen sensor that we will bring
Does this equipment use an external pressure housing? yes
Has the pressure housing been tested per Alvin Pressure Test requirements? yes
Pressure housing schematic with dimensions and include air and water weights.
Air weight of this equipment? 5
Water weight of this equipment?
Does the equipment require a power interface from Alvin? no
Voltage required null
Power required
Data Interface
Does the equipment meet the electrical requirements of the Alvin User Manual? yes
Please provide power and comms specifics, wiring diagram, pinout, and wiring harness in advance of the cruise.
Does this equipment require hydraulic inputs from the vehicle? no
Hydraulic schematic of the equipment requirements.
Does this equipment require manipulation? yes
If yes, please describe how the equipment is to be manipulated:
use the manipulator to move the heat flow probe into the sediment or the oxygen sensor into fluid flow
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? yes
If yes, please describe this equipment:
osmosamplers, miniture temperature recorders and rock slides
Does this equipment use any glass spheres for either buoyancy or as pressure housings? no
Does the equipment have an associated computer or control panel for remote operation from the personnel sphere? yes
Has the computer or control panel been gas tested for use in the personnel sphere? yes

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized?no
Describe deployment method and quantity:

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments:
Navy Clearance:
Granted 11/30/14:

Checklist & Notes


U.S. Customs Form: yes
Diplomatic Clearance: yes
Date Submitted: Jun 13, 2014
Date Approved:
Agent Information:

Costa Rica

Attn: Scientist's Name - AT26-24
c/o Vasile Tudoran Transport
819 Ohio Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90804

Contact: Vasile Tudoran
Phone: (562) 882-5590
Fax: (562) 434-9800
Email: vtudoran@aol.com

Local Address for Large Shipments:

Attn: Scientist's Name - AT26-24

Aptdo 76
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Manuel Fernandez
Phone: 011-506-2661-1529
Fax: 011-506-2661-2779

Manuel Fernandez, cell #011 506 8862 6787

Note: Agent and WHOI contacts should be copied on all communications. It is requested that shipment information of any equipment be communicated to the Agent and WHOI contacts

Costa Rica only.
Customs forms 4455 submitted Oct 20 for San Francisco Pre Loading.
Isotope Use Approval: no
Isotope Notes:
SCUBA Diving: no


SSSG Tech:
Allison Heater, Catie Graver
Pre Loading San Francisco CA. Oct 20 and 21.
Shipping gear / samples home in PUntarenas Costa Rica. 

DRY ICE req.