Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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R/V Oceanus

Cruise Party

Don Anderson: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 3-32, MS#32 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2351

Bradford Butman: Principal Investigator
U.S. Geological Survey 384 Woods Hole Road Woods Hole, MA USA 02543-1598
+1 508 457 2212

Bruce Keafer: Chief Scientist
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Redfield 3-32, MS#32 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2509

Dennis McGillicuddy: Principal Investigator
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Bigelow 209A, MS#11 Woods Hole, Ma. USA 02543
+1 508 289 2683

Departure: Oct 24, 2011

Woods Hole

Arrival: Nov 4, 2011

Woods Hole

Operations Area

Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy
Lat/Lon: 43° 30.0′ S / 68° 30.0′ W
Depth Range: 10 (m) / 270 (m)
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? Canada
Are visas or special travel documents required? no

Science Objectives

Alexandrium fundyense, commonly referred to as the New England red tide organism, is a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species that can cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) in US and Canadian waters. This species is the focus of a multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary, NOAA-funded research program (ECOHAB-GOMTOX) studying the dynamics of toxic A. fundyense blooms in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) and the Bay of Fundy. As part of its life cycle, benthic cysts germinate from surface sediments to produce toxic cells in the overlying waters. As the bloom develops, the cells undergo sexual reproduction that produce cysts which settle to the sediments completing the life cycle. A series of cyst collection cruises is one continuing element the ECOHAB research with seven successive years of cyst abundance data generated. Results from those cruises indicate that the inter-annual and inter-decadal bloom intensity is related to the variability in abundance of the underlying benthic cyst population observed during the preceding year.

Coupled biological/physical circulation models for the GOM rely on this cyst/cell relationship to provide both seasonal and synoptic forecasts of the bloom intensity. The cyst abundance from field observations provides the source population for initiation of the computer-simulated blooms and is a critical data input that enables forecasting skill each year. The primary objective of this cruise in Fall of 2011 (OC477) will be to collect cyst samples for continuation of the cyst data time series necessary for forecasting bloom intensity prior to and during the 2012 season and will begin a transition from the research program to operational bloom forecasting.

Science Activities

Approximately 125 stations will be occupied in the area of operations that span from Mass Bay to the Bay of Fundy. At each station, undisturbed surface sediment samples will be collected using a hydraulically-damped Craib Corer deployed with the CTD winch. Cores will be sectioned onboard into 0-1cm and 1-3cm intervals. At 3 designated stations, multiple cores will be collected from the same location. Cyst samples will be processed onboard in the wetlab, preserved in formalin, then exchanged in cold methanol for later microscopic enumeration using a primulin staining technique. Phytoplankton samples will also be collected for HABs that might occur during the Fall period.

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Visit WHOI
Meeting Notes: anytime is fine--Just across the street in Redfield building.
Media personnel on board: NA


Supporting documentation:



Funding Agency: USGS
Grant or contract number: WHOI 48002103
Funding Agency: NOAA
Grant or contract number: to be assigned Sept 1

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Oceanus

Shipboard Equipment

Deionized Water System
12 kHz Pinger for Wire Use
Bathymetry System 12 kHz
ADCP 150 kHz
ADCP 75 kHz
Fume Hood

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

10 liter bottles for suspended cyst collection near the bottom--need 24 total plus back-ups

CTD-Related Equipment

ECO/AFL and STM sensor (WHOI owned)

MET Sensors

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

Sediment Sampling

Van Veen Grab

Sample Storage

Chest Freezer (Household type) 0°F
Freezer -70°C 3.2 cu. ft. ea.
Refrigerator 8.6 cu. ft.
Storage Notes: -70 C to be placed in the Wetlab
Reefer in the Main Lab
Chest freezer to be installed in Main Lab


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 9/16th trawl wire
Winch Notes: USGS might participate on this cruise and will use either the A-Frame with trawl wire or the Crane to deploy a USGS Bothner slow corer.

Wire use and application

CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Trawl Winch with 9/16th trawl wire
Wires Notes: Craib Corer will use the CTD winch and wire--no electrical connection needed; just mechanical

Standard Oceanographic Cables

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

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
Craib Corer (2)
Van Veen (2)
USGS Slow Corer (2) if USGS participates

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:
methanol - to be used in the hood area of wetlab
Formalin - to be used in the hood area of wetlab

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yes
Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
Other required equipment and special needs:
Wetlab will be used extensively to process sediment samples. Hood will be used. "Bridge" board will be installed over the pipes between hood and wetlab bulkhead.

Checklist & Notes


U.S. Customs Form: no
Diplomatic Clearance: no
Date Submitted:
Date Approved:
Agent Information:
Isotope Use Approval: no
Isotope Notes:
SCUBA Diving: no


SSSG Tech: