Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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AT42-05: Teske "Guaymas Basin"


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: Nov 17, 2018


Arrival: Nov 29, 2018


Operations Area

Southern Guaymas Basin
Lat/Lon: 27° 0.0′ N / 111° 24.0′ W
Depth Range: 1900 / 2050
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? Mexico
Are visas or special travel documents required? yes

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 [see Sentry Proposal PDF for the 2018 cruise attached]

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Teleconference
Meeting Notes: I am on research leave in Germany until June 28, and I will be in Woods hole between June 29 and approx. August 20, 2018
Media personnel on board: Artist
My colleague and Co-PI Mandy Joye has recommended two painters who have joined cruises previously as potential cruise artists, pending bunk availability.


  Guaymas Basin
  Distance: 40
  Days: 10
  Latitude: 27° 0.0’ N
  Longitude: 111° 25.0’ W

Supporting documentation:

Notes: ***** ALL ALVIN NOTES AND UPDATED CRUISE DETAILS ARE IN THE ATTACHED 'AT42-05 Precruise Agenda w notes.doc" *****


Funding Agency: NSF
Grant or contract number: 1357238

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

Deionized Water System
Science Underway Seawater System
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
SBE43 oxygen sensor

Critical CTD Sensors

Sample Storage

Climate Controlled Walk-in
Freezer -70°C 25 cu. ft.
Refrigerator 8.6 cu. ft.
Freezer -70°C 3.2 cu. ft. ea.
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
How many nets? null
How many tansponders? null
Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation?no


Navigation Notes: ROV Sentry will generate new and improved maps of the southern Guaymas Basin area and its surroundings; see the attached pdf "GuaymasSentryRationale".


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.
Winch Notes:

Standard Oceanographic Cables

Slip ring required? no
Non-standard wire required? no
Traction winch required? no

Portable Vans

Isotope Van

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 essential gear in Woods Hole in Sept.
Water: yes Identify: deionized water for 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
Describe deployment method and quantity:

Radioactive Material


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 can be accommodated [only 3 bunks are needed according to Carl Kaiser, by sharing quarters with Alvin crew].
Other required equipment and special needs:

Scientific Instrumentation for AUV Sentry

Current Chart(s):

What type of samples do you expect to collect?Sampling [mostly sediment push cores] will be performed with Alvin, not with Sentry

Site Survey

Will you provide detailed charts of the work area(s)?yes
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
How many nets? null
How many tansponders? null
Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation?no
Will you be using Doppler/GPS navigation? no

Science Supplied Equipment

Are you supplying equipment to be used on HOV AbeSentry no
Has this equipment been used on AbeSentry 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.
Sean Kelley, Carl Kaiser and I are currently exploring options to add methane sensors to Sentry, but this is not set in stone yet; we are looking for quotes. Previous Sentry users have also asked for Methane sensors; perhaps it is time to add them to Sentry's sensor repertoire.
Does this equipment use an external pressure housing? no
Has the pressure case been tested to the anticipated depth of deployment?& no
Pressure housing schematic with dimensions and include air and water weights.
Air weight of this equipment?
Water weight of this equipment?
Does the equipment require data or a power interface from the vehicle? no
Does the equipment meet the electrical requirements of the Sentry User Manual? no

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments:
At present, I do not have information on special equipment; in 2016, all special equipment items were held back by Mexican customs and could not be deployed; the cruise parties hoping to use them (collaborators from Germany and Harvard) may be too scared to try again.

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: