Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Questionnaire

Gulf of Mexico Brine Microbial Observatory


R/V Atlantis


HOV Alvin

Cruise Party

Samantha Joye: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator
University of Georgia DEPARTMENT OF MARINE SCIENCES ATHENS, Georgia United States 30602-3636
+1 706 542 5893

Departure: Galveston Texas on Nov 8, 2010

Arrival: Pascagoula Mississippi on Nov 29, 2010

Supporting documentation:


Operations Area: Gulf of Mexico

Lat/Lon: 27° 43.4′ N / 90° 16.8′ W

Depth Range: 650 / 2600

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

Science objectives

The primary objectives of this cruise are to collect depth stratified samples of brine fluids from brine pools, brine basins, mud volcanoes, and the surrounding sediments at sites in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Secondary objectives are to map the sites, collect water column profiles above the brine habitats (via night time CTD casts), and make air-sea flux measurements of methane and carbon dioxide. 
Please note that I have requested 3 additional dives/days from the NSF to collect sediment and water columns samples in the vicinity (2.5 miles and further out) of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.  Our objectives at these sites would be to collect water column (CTD) and sediment (ALVIN) samples at three sites and to map the seafloor around the area. 

Science Activities

Science activities include 1) Alvin dives, 2) CTD casts, 3) mapping surveys, and 4) air-sea gas exchange measurements.  
During Alvin dives, we will collect brine samples with a custom built sampling device; collect sediment push cores; photo and video the study sites; and deploy monitoring sensors and camera systems.  
Night operations will include multibeam surveys and CTD casts.  
Gas exchange measurements will be made continuously with an underway system.

Pre-cruise planning meeting: Teleconference

Media personnel on board: Video
This has not been confirmed but is likely


  Distance: 176
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 26° 23.3’ N
  Longitude: 94° 30.8’ W

Funding Agency: NSF #EF0801741

- added NSF #EF0801741 on Aug 24, 2010 12:50 AM by Prof. Samantha Joye

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
Transponder Navigation - Sonardyne USBL
Science Underway Seawater System

CTD/Water Sampling

911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors
Biospherical underwater PAR (1000m depth limit) with reference Surface PAR
SBE43 oxygen sensor
Seapoint STM turbidity sensor
Wet Labs C*Star transmissometer (660nm wavelength)
Wet Labs ECO-AFL fluorometer

Critical CTD Sensors:  WET Labs ECO CDOM fluorometer

MET Sensors

Air temperature
Barometric Pressure
Relative Humidity
Short Wave Solar Radiation
Wind speed and direction

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.
Scientific Walk-in Freezer

Storage Notes: We will be bringing a refrigerator and freezer for sample storage; these will be secured on deck.  We will need a refrigerator in each lab and two -80 freezers (in total).


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


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

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: yes Type: Elevators
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: yes Identify: to the radioisotope van
Equipment Handling: no Identify: 
Inter/intraship Communications: no Identify: 
Science Stowage: no Identify: 
Water: yes Identify: to the radioisotope van

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:
Hazardous materials will be used inside the lab areas; radioisotope will be used only in the isotope van. 
Hazmat information (MSDS) will be uploaded by the members of the science party. 

Radioactive Material

Radioiosotopes: yes

Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise? yes

Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other): Standard multibeam and CTD ops; computer support will also be needed.

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? no

Vehicle Equipment

Push corers (12-pack rack)
High temperature probe (0-480°C)
Low temperature probe
Scoop nets

What type of samples do you expect to collect?
Brine fluids, carbonate rock, sediment cores, water samples


Will you be using elevators to transport samples to the surface?  yes
If yes, how many would you anticipate?  3

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.
1.  Brine fluid samples will be collected with a custom built sampling device fabricated at UGA.  We have consulted with the ALVIN crew on the instrument design.  Samples are degassed during retrieval so do not represent a hazard.
2. A rack of six-500 mL niskin bottles for bottom water sampling
3.  A cable, winch, and CTD for lowering into the brine 
4.  Camera systems for short term deployment at the study site
5.  In situ mass spectrometer (belongs to Peter Girguis; has a pressure housing; has been used on ALVIN previously)

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? null

Water weight(s) of this equipment?

Does the equipment require a power interface from Alvin?  no

Voltage required

Power required

Data Interface

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

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?  yes
How many? 2  Single
Pressure requirements?
Flow requirements?

Hydraulic schematic of the equipment requirements.

Does this equipment require manipulation?  yes

If yes, please describe how the equipment is to be manipulated:  valves on sampling bottle need to be opened and closed; cameras need to be positioned; CTD cable needs to be lowered 

Will this equipment be deployed off the vehicle?  yes

If yes, please describe how the equipment is intended for deployment:  CTD cable will be carried on the front rack; cameras will be carried on standard ALVIN elevators

If yes, will the equipment be disconnected from the vehicle and left in situ?  yes

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: Aug 24, 2010 1:42 AM by Prof. Samantha Joye