Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Questionnaire

Guaymas Basin 2016


R/V Atlantis


AUV Sentry

Cruise Party

Andreas Teske: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Marine Sciences, CB 3300 Chapel Hill, NC USA 27599
+1 919 843 2463

Departure: Manzanillo on Dec 9, 2016

Arrival: Manzanillo on Dec 27, 2016

Mobilization Date: Dec 7, 2016

Demobilization Date: Dec 29, 2016

Supporting documentation:


Operations Area: Southern Guaymas Basin


Depth Range: 1900 / 2050

Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? Mexico
Are visas or special travel documents required? no

Science objectives

This integrated biogeochemical and microbiological research program will explore the pathways
of and environmental controls on the consumption and production of methane, other alkanes,
DIC, LMW organic acids and sedimentary organic matter that fuel the Guaymas sedimentary microbial ecosystem. The hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin provide a spatially compact, high-activity location for investigating novel modes of methane cycling and carbon assimilation into microbial biomass. In the case of anaerobic methane oxidation, the high temperature and pressure tolerance
of Guaymas Basin methane-oxidizing microbial communities, and their potential to uncouple
from the dominant electron acceptor sulfate, vastly increase the predicted subsurface habitat
space and biogeochemical role for anaerobic microbial methanotrophy in global deep subsurface diagenesis. Further, microbial methane production and oxidation interlocks with S and N transformations, which we will explore on the organism and process level in hydrothermal sediment microbial communities and mats of Guaymas Basin. In general, our first-order research tasks (rate measurements, radiotracer incorporation studies, genomes, in situ microgradients) will define the key microbial capabilities, pathways and processes that mediate chemical exchange between the subsurface hydrothermal/seep environment and the deep ocean waters.

Science Activities

In the proposed project, we will investigate genomic potential, physiological capabilities and biogeochemical roles of key uncultured organisms from Guaymas sediments, especially the high-temperature anaerobic methane oxidizers that occur specifically in hydrothermally active sediments; for this purpose, sediment cores from hydrothermal hot spots [to be determined with the Alvin heatflow probe] will be collected with HOV Alvin. We will focus on the role of methane-oxidizing archaea and other Guaymas microbiota in C transformations, but also explore their potential involvement in S and N transformations. First-order research topics include quantifying anaerobic methane oxidation under high T, P and in situ methane concentration, and with alternate electron acceptors; sulfate and sulfur-dependent microbial pathways and isotopic signatures under these conditions; and nitrogen transformations in methane-oxidizing microbial communities, hydrothermal mats and sediments. To complement these microbial and biogeochemical studies, we are planning to employ the AUV Sentry, build and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, for a mapping and photomosaic survey of the Southern Guaymas Trench and its adjacent regions. This survey should enlarge the commonly visited microbial sampling area, which is needlessly limited to a small area in the southern Guaymas Basin.

Pre-cruise planning meeting: Teleconference/Visit WHOI

I will be at WHOI on Friday, August 26


  Station 1
  Distance: null
  Days: 13
  Latitude: 27.0’ N
  Longitude: 111.25’ W

  Station 2
  Distance: 650
  Days: 13
  Latitude: 27.0’ N
  Longitude: 111.25’ W

Funding Agency: NSF #1357238

- added NSF #1357238 on Aug 23, 2016 8:52 PM by Andreas Teske

R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

Deionized Water System
Fume Hood
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
SBE43 oxygen sensor

Critical CTD Sensors: 

Sample Storage

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

Storage Notes: Sediments are either kept alive at +4C in the coldroom for shorebased work, or are frozen at -80C for DNA/RNA shorebased work. Similar for sediment porewater; DIC samples are usually frozen, methane can be stored at RT, and sulfide/sulfate can be stored refrigerated at 4C. Fixed microbial cells are usually stored at -20C.


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: By my respone to the site survey question, I mean that ROV Sentry will generate new and better maps of the southern Guaymas Basin area; see the attached pdf "GuaymasSentryRationale". The currently available maps for this area are quite sketchy, and every expedition is really on its own.
Alvin has used its own navigation system to find dive targets in Guaymas Basin, and this has worked quite well on previous cruises.


CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire

Winch Notes: Essentially, the standard CTD winch will be needed, and Atlantis's winch system to release and recover SENTRY; but here I don't know any details.

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

Portable Vans

Isotope Van

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? no

Special Requirements

Elecrical Power: no Identify: 
Equipment Handling: no Identify: 
Inter/intraship Communications: no Identify: 
Science Stowage: yes Identify: pre-loading of some gear in Newport Oct 6-8
Water: yes Identify: deionized water for fancy microbiologists

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

Radioactive Material

Radioiosotopes: yes

Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise? yes

Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other): Sentry is operated during the night so that it does not interfere with Alvin dives during the day; bunk space for Sentry personnel has been accommodated.

Other required equipment and special needs: 

AUV Sentry

Site Survey

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

Current Chart(s):

If no, will you need Sentry 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? no

Will you be using Doppler/GPS navigation? no

Sensors & Samplers

410/120kHz Sidescan sonar
850 kHz Sidescan sonor
Dissolved oxygen
Large capacity slurp samplers (Multi-chamber)
Multibeam maps
Sub bottom profiler
What type of samples do you expect to collect?
if possible, some surficial sediment and water samples from outlying areas in Guaymas Basin that are not visited by Alvin on this cruise. However, additional payload should not interfere with SENTRY's principal use for seafloor photomosaics and shallow subbottom surveys on this cruise. It will be good to discuss some of the sensors and payload with SENTRY experts at the pre-cruise meeting.

Science Supplied Equipment

Are you supplying equipment to be used with AUV Sentry?  no

Has this equipment been used on Sentry 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.

Does this equipment use an external pressure housing?  no

Has the pressure case been tested to the anticipated depth of deployment?  no

Air weight(s) of this equipment?

Water weight(s) of this equipment?

Does the equipment require data or a power interface from the vehicle?

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

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments: Dan Hoer from Harvard (Pete Girguis) is planning to bring an in-situ mass spectrometer for sniffing out alkanes in Guaymas Basin; however, as far as I remember, this unit will be used on Alvin, not on Sentry.
Dirk de Beer (Max-Planck-Institute Bremen) will bring an in-situ microprofiler for measuring chemical and T gradients in surficial sediments on a micrometer scale, to be used with Alvin. The profiler was successfully deployed back in 2009. Reference:doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.000075.

Date Submitted: Aug 23, 2016 9:43 PM by Andreas Teske