Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Questionnaire

Sievert, S/in situ rates/1559198


R/V Atlantis


HOV Alvin

Cruise Party

Jeremy Rich: Principal Investigator
University of Maine 93 Clarks Cove Rd Walpole, ME USA 04573
+1 207 563 8302

Stefan Sievert: Principal Investigator, Chief Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Watson Building 207, MS#52 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2305

Craig Taylor: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Watson Building 209, MS#52 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2354

Departure: Manzanillo Mexico on Apr 24, 2017

Arrival: Puntarenas Costa Rica on May 14, 2017

Mobilization Date: Apr 22, 2017

Demobilization Date: May 16, 2017

Supporting documentation:

Operations Area: 9 North Integrated Study Site

Lat/Lon: 9° 50.0′ N / 104° 18.0′ W

Depth Range: 2500 / 2600

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

Science objectives

Knowledge of the in situ metabolism of microorganisms carrying out CO2-fixation at deep-sea hydrothermal vents is very limited. Particularly lacking are studies measuring rates of autotrophic carbon fixation in situ, which is a measurement ultimately needed to constrain production in these ecosystems. Although recent data suggests that nitrate reduction either to N2 (denitrification) or to NH4+ (dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium, DNRA) might be responsible for a significant fraction of chemoautotrophic production, NO3--reduction rates have never been measured in situ at hydrothermal vents. We hypothesize that chemoautrophic growth is strongly coupled to nitrate respiration in vent microbial communities. As part of this cruise, we are going to use a recently developed robotic micro-laboratory (Vent-SID) to measure rates of chemoautotrophic production and to determine the relative importance of oxygen and nitrate in driving chemosynthesis at hydrothermal vents at both in situ pressures and temperatures and to tackle the following currently unresolved science objectives: 1) obtain in situ rates of chemoautotrophic carbon fixation, 2) obtain in situ nitrate reduction rate measurements, and 3) directly correlate the measurement of these processes with the expression of key genes involved in carbon and energy metabolism. 

Science Activities

The cruise has 12 dives with DSV Alvin, to allow time for deployment and collection of experiments and for sampling of discrete vents along the axis of the 9°46’N to 9°53’N segment of the East Pacific Rise (EPR). We will focus our activities at Crab Spa, a diffuse flow vent site near Tica, and deploy experiments and sampling equipment, including the Vent-SID and a large volume pump (LVP). During the course of the cruise we will perform several deployments of the Vent-TSSID, as well as collect biomass from fluids and biofilms (deployment/recover experimental microbial colonizers) by utilizing the LVP. Both the Vent-SID and the LVP will be deployed as an elevator. It is planned to deploy the instruments and bring them close to the deployment site the night before a dive, and then to position the instruments at the site with Alvin the next day. Alvin will be releasing the instrument either on the same dive or any subsequent dive, after which the instrument will be picked up at the surface. Furthermore, we will carry out additional opportunistic sampling of other diffuse-flow vents. Fluid samples for chemical analyses will be collected at each deployment site using isobaric gas-tight samplers, which will also be used to sample fluids from the focus site for the shipboard incubations. Finally, we will deploy/recover experimental microbial colonizers to collect microbial biofilms, as well as collect Riftia for subsequent ‘omic analyses. We are also planning to perform several water casts at night, using the CTD/Niskin rosette on board Atlantis. 

Pre-cruise planning meeting: Visit WHOI

Sievert/Taylor are at WHOI
Media personnel on board: not sure yet


  Station 1
  Distance: null
  Days: 12
  Latitude: 9° 50.0’ N
  Longitude: 104° 18.0’ W

  Station 2
  Distance: null
  Days: null
  Latitude: 9° 50.0’ N
  Longitude: 104° 18.0’ W

Funding Agency: NSF #OCE-1559198

- added NSF #OCE-1559198 on Feb 1, 2017 1:04 PM by Stefan M. Sievert

R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

Navigation - Position
Navigation - Heading
Transponder Navigation - Sonardyne USBL
Deionized Water System
Fume Hood
Relay Transponder for Wire Use
12 kHz Pinger for Wire Use

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet
Is there a need to receive data from shore on a regular basis?
Is there a need to transfer data to shore on a regular basis?
Is there an expectation to use Skype or any other real-time video conference program?

CTD/Water Sampling

911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors
SBE43 oxygen sensor
Wet Labs FLNTURTD Combination Flourometer and Turbidity Sensor

Critical CTD Sensors: 

Sample Storage

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

Storage Notes:


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:


CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Hydro Winch with .25" hydro wire

Winch Notes:

Wire use and application

CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Hydro Winch with .25" hydro wire

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

Portable Vans

Chemical Storage 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: We would like to consider leaving gear on board for it return to Woods Hole
Water: no Identify: 

Additional Cruise Items/Activities

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

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized? yes

Radioactive Material

Radioiosotopes: no

Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise? yes

Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other): 

We will be perfoming water casts using the ship-board CTD/Rosette system, we will also deploy elevators the night before an Alvin dive

Other required equipment and special needs: 

HOV Alvin

Site Survey

Will you provide detailed charts of the work area(s)?  no

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

Search sonar
Scoop nets
Small capacity slurp samplers
Large capacity slurp samplers: multi-chamber
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
Special micro-bio box 12" x 18" x 12"

What type of samples do you expect to collect?
water samples primarily with majors, animals (Riftia, mussels), rocks, slurp samples, pick up larval colonization blocks and microbial colonization devices


Will you be using elevators to transport samples to the surface?  yes
If yes, how many would you anticipate?  Vent-SID: 4 LVP: 2-4

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.
We are going to use a a number of instruments, most of which have been used with Alvin:

1. We will be using chemical in situ sensors developed by Nadine LeBris, these are self-contained units that have been frequently used with Alvin (last time on AT15-38)

3. A McLane in situ large volume pump is going to be deployed as an elevator. Alvin will need to move the pump to the deployment site and also release it after filtration is finished (6-8 hours)

4. Vent-SID: This is a newly developed isntrument that has been used with Alvin during AT26-23. The pressure senstive components have been pressure tested according to Alvin specificications. Fred Thwaites, who is the main engineer of the instrument, has been in touch with Alvin group, and so has Steve Faluotico, who is implementing an ICL to communicate to the instrument from the sphere.

The LVP and Vent-SID are independent units. They will be moved by Alvin and positioned at the sampling site. 

Does this equipment use an external pressure housing?  yes

Has the pressure housing been tested per Alvin Pressure Test requirements?  yes

Air weight of this equipment? 480 (Vent-SID); 95 (LVP)

Water weight(s) of this equipment? 1,200 (Vent-SID); 300 (LVP)

Does the equipment require a power interface from Alvin?  yes

Voltage required I am not sure here. We are in the process of implementing an ICL to commnicate with the Vent-SID. Steve Faluotico is the person working on it and he has been in touch with Alvin group (Anthony Tarantino)

Power required

Data Interface Other

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 Alvin?  no
Hydraulic schematic of the equipment requirements.

Does this equipment require manipulation?  yes

If yes, please describe how the equipment is to be manipulated:  LVP and Vent-SID need to be moved by Alvin, intake wand needs to be placed in opening of vent, instrument weights need to be released at end of operation

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, ceramic housings or similar (non-metallic materials) for either buoyancy or as pressure housings?  yes

Do you require any electronic equipment in the personal 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

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments:

Date Submitted: Feb 2, 2017 11:52 AM by Stefan M. Sievert