Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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R/V Oceanus

Cruise Party

Andone Lavery: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Bigelow 211, MS#11 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2345

Gareth Lawson: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 1-32, MS#34 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 3713

Zhaohui Wang: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution McLean 203, MS#08 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 3676

Peter Wiebe: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 2-26, MS#33 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2313

Departure: Aug 7, 2011

Woods Hole

Arrival: Sep 1, 2011

Woods Hole

Operations Area

Depth Range: min / max (m)
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? Canada
Are visas or special travel documents required? no

Science Objectives

The impact of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems is increasingly appreciated as an urgent societal concern. Thecosome pteropods are a group of planktonic molluscs (i.e., ‘pelagic snails’) widely distributed in coastal and open ocean ecosystems of the world’s oceans. These animals form an aragonite shell, and thus are highly sensitive to ocean acidification due to the water column’s changing carbonate chemistry, and particularly the shoaling of the aragonite compensation depth at which seawater becomes corrosive to aragonite. In many regions, however, relatively little is known about the ecology of these animals.

The primary objective of the proposed work is to quantify the distribution, abundance, species composition, shell condition, and vertical migratory behavior of oceanic thecosome pteropods in the northwest Atlantic and northeast Pacific, and correlate these quantities to hydrography and concurrent measurements of carbonate chemistry, including vertical and horizontal distributions of aragonite saturation.

The first cruise of this project will be to the northwest Atlantic on the Oceanus in August 2011. A combination of underway data collection and station activities will be conducted along a transect spanning 15 degrees of latitude (35 to 50 N), employing 6 instrument packages:

1. A 1-m2 MOCNESS plankton net system

2. A profiling Video Plankton Recorder / CTD package, including bottles for water sampling.

3. A deep (500m) towed broadband acoustic scattering system

4. A hull-mounted narrowband multi-frequency acoustic scattering system. It is possible that the hull-mounted transducers will suffer from noise when the vessel is underway and so as a backup we will have a surface-towed sled with a backup complement of transducers.

5. An underway multi-parameter inorganic carbon analyzer

6. A suite of chemistry-related instruments including a DIC auto-analyzer for discret bottle sample analysis; an alkalinity auto-titrator for bottle analysis; an Agilent spectrophotometer for discrete pH measurement.


Science Activities

Departing from Woods Hole, we will set a course for the transect start point at 35N 52W. Test deployments of the instrument packages will be conducted over the continental shelf and at the shelf break, near the 200, 500, and 1000m isobaths. The transect will run in a zig-zagging fashion between the start point and the end at 50N 42W (see accompanying map); the end point may be extended northwards based on SST imagery, in order to ensure that some sampling is achieved north of the Gulf Stream. As time permits, some limited sampling in continental shelf waters off Nova Scotia may also be conducted during the return trip to Woods Hole. The science party will be divided into ‘biology’ (7 members) and ‘chemistry’ (5 members) teams, for a total of 14 participants who will conduct 24-hour operations.

Surveying along the study transect will involve a combination of activities:

1. Underway data will be collected continuously along-track at a survey speed of 8 knots using a multi-frequency acoustic system with hull-mounted transducers; underway measurements will also be conducted using a Multi-parameter Inorganic Carbon Analyzer (MICA). A seabird observer will survey bird abundance during daylight hours.

2. “Regular” stations will be conducted nominally every 1/2 degree in latitude along the transect, involving casts to 1000m with a CTD-VPR package (including bottle samples of seawater) and profiles with the broadband acoustic system to 500m. The exact location of the stations may be adjusted based on real-time examination of data, or time and/or other constraints. Water samples will be processed by chemistry team personnel between stations.

3. “Day/night” stations will be selected from the regular 1/2 degree stations based on real-time examination of the underway acoustic data for evidence of high pteropod abundance. Eight of these day/night stations will be conducted during the cruise, nominally every 2 degrees in latitude along the transect. Day and night MOCNESS net tows and CTD-VPR casts will be made to 1000m. Between these day and night casts/tows, a CTD cast will be made to 3000m. As feasible, small-scale acoustic surveys in the vicinity of the stations will also be performed. Between day/night stations, biology team personnel will process net samples and conduct physiological studies of live sampled animals.


Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Visit WHOI
Meeting Notes: May 3rd at 1000 Eastern. All PIs on this project are at WHOI. Location: Conference room @ Marine Operations Office 38 Water St. Woods Hole


Supporting documentation:



Funding Agency: NSF
Grant or contract number: OCE-1041068

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Oceanus

Other Science Vans:

Shipboard Equipment

ADCP 150 kHz
ADCP 75 kHz
Bathymetry System 3.5 kHz
Deionized Water System
Fume Hood
Transducer well for visiting instrumentation
Science Underway Seawater System
Sippican XBT System (Mark 21)

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet

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

We will bring our own MOCNESS

Hydrographic Analysis Equipment

Dissolved Oxygen Titration System (Brinkmann Titrator)
Oxygen Sample Bottles (available in 150 ml sizes)
Salt Bottles (2 cases of 125 ml provided)

MET Sensors

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

Sample Storage

Chest Freezer (Household type) 0°F
Freezer -70°C 3.2 cu. ft. ea.
Refrigerator 8.6 cu. ft.
Storage Notes:


Will you be using Long Base Line (LBL) navigation? no
How many nets? null
How many tansponders? null
Will you be using Doppler/GPS navigation? no


Navigation Notes:


CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Trawl Winch with .680 Coax
Winch Notes:

Wire use and application

CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Trawl Winch with .680 Coax
Wires Notes: The CTD winch will be used to deploy the CTD-VPR package and the MOCNESS using the starboard side hydroboom. The trawl winch will be used to deploy the broadband acoustic system to max depths of 500m. The weight in air of this latter system is approximately 250lbs. The coax cable is needed as the system produces a lot of data and so needs wire with high bandwidth.

Standard Oceanographic Cables

Slip ring required? no Number of conductors: 
Non-standard wire required? no Type: 
Traction winch required? no Describe: 
Science Van 1
Type/size: 20' Biomaper van Location: 01 or main deck
Water: Power:480V

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 have a tow boom designed by Terry Hammar designed to tow a surface-towed acoustic V-fin towed body over the port side of the R/V Endeavor. We have been discussing with SSSG and Dutch Wegman the idea of using this boom on the Oceanus. The boom is mounted on the 01 deck and something like a Hiab knuckle crane is needed to deploy and recover the towed body.

Special Requirements

Elecrical Power: no Identify: 
Equipment Handling: no Identify: 
Inter/intraship Communications: yes Identify: Communication/internet to a bird observer on the bow or flying bridge.
Science Stowage: no Identify: 
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?yesDescribe deployment method and quantity:

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yesSpecialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
Other required equipment and special needs:
We have 4 transducers we would like to install in the transducer well, and are already working with SSSG to do so. In addition, we have a few other needs and questions:
1. Our chemistry team will require an uncontaminated underway air supply, ie an air line leading from somewhere up the mast down to the lab.
2. The chemistry team likewise needs uncontatminated underway seawater. Is there a protocol for cleaing out the pipes of the USW system and if so, can this be done just before our cruise?
3. We also will be using a variety of the other underway data streams (wind, humidity, temperature, salinity, fluorescence, etc). Are these sensors calibrated for accuracy and precision, and how recently?
4. We would like to store some samples in liquid nitrogen and therefore will require space for a 30L dewar, a dry shipper, and a 140L canister of liquid nitrogen.
5. We will be collecting quite a lot of water and zooplankton samples and would like to talk about storage options (eg could a storage van be brought along?).

Checklist & Notes


U.S. Customs Form: no
Diplomatic Clearance: yes
Date Submitted:
Date Approved:
Agent Information:
Woods Hole, MA
Master R/V Oceanus
Attn: Scientist's Name-OC473
c/o WHOI
266 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Contact: Eric Benway
Phone: (508) 289-3770
Fax: (508) 457-2185
Email: ebenway@whoi.edu

Please cc' Eric Benway <ebenway@whoi.edu> and Chad Smith <csmith@whoi.edu> on all shipping logistics
Canada- Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) only
Isotope Use Approval: no
Isotope Notes:
SCUBA Diving: no


SSSG Tech: