Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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AT42-08: Drazen, MBCal, Alvin Eng


R/V Atlantis


HOV Alvin

Cruise Party

Claudia Benitez-Nelson: Principal Investigator
University of South Carolina USA
+1 803 777 0018

Jeffrey Drazen: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator
1000 Pope Rd Honolulu, HI USA 96822
+1 808 956 6567

Brian Popp: Principal Investigator
1680 East-West Road Honolulu, Hawaii USA 96822
+1 808 956 6206

Craig Smith: Principal Investigator
1000 Pope Road Honolulu, HI USA 96822
+1 808 956 7776

Departure: Mar 13, 2019

San Francisco

Arrival: Mar 22, 2019

San Diego

Operations Area

NP09 220km west of Pt Conception, California
Lat/Lon: 34° 50.0′ N / 123° 0.0′ W
Depth Range: 4000 / 4200
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? no

Science Objectives

The overarching goal of this project is to evaluate the relative importance of different food materials (very small slowly sinking/suspended particles vs larger rapidly sinking particles) to the abyssal food web.  To achieve this goal we will characterize the isotopic composition of water column particles and sediments and compare them to the composition of benthic animals (macrofauna and megafauna).

Science Activities

Sampling will include
1) CTD casts with in situ particle filtration using McLane pumps.  Sampling will occur at night and from near the surface to near the seafloor (~4100m depth).
2) CTD casts collecting water in available Niskin bottles.  Sampling will occur at night and from near the surface to ~500m depth.
3) Alving sampling - sediment push cores, larger (~20x20cm) Ekman cores, and megafaunal collections, we will also perform video/photo transects to quantify animal abundances
4) Benthic trap lander - to capture fishes and large crustaceans, (2) ~24 hour deployments. We would like to conduct deployments and recoveries during the day while Alvin is at the seafloor to maximize use of ship time
5) Box coring for sediment macrofauna

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Teleconference


  Station 1
  Distance: null
  Days: 4
  Latitude: 34° 50.0’ N
  Longitude: 123° 0.0’ W

  Station 2
  Distance: null
  Days: null

Supporting documentation:

Notes: Please reference "AT42-08 Drazen MBCal AlvEng Precruise Agenda with notes.docx" for full notes on cruise objectives and techinical needs.
This document is more updated than details you see in this synopsis.


Funding Agency: NSF
Grant or contract number: 1829612

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

Bathymetry System 12 kHz
Deionized Water System
12 kHz Pinger for Wire Use
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
Wet Labs C*Star transmissometer (660nm wavelength)
Seapoint STM turbidity sensor
Wet Labs ECO-AFL fluorometer

Critical CTD Sensors

we will bring and employ a series of McLane in situ pumps for attachment to the CTD wire (0.322)

Sediment Sampling

Box corer

Sample Storage

Climate Controlled Walk-in
Freezer -70°C 25 cu. ft.
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 Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation?no


Navigation Notes:


CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Mooring / TSE winch
Trawl Winch with 9/16th trawl wire
Winch Notes: We are requesting a mooring winch for deployment and recovery of the small trap lander.  It is ideal to deploy and recover using such a winch however, if not possible this may also be done with the crane off the stbd or port side (deck space permitting).  This is an item to discuss during the cruise call.

Wire use and application

CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Winch Notes:
We will be using wire clamps (we have them) to attach our McLane in situ pumps to the CTD wire.  Deployments of the in situ pumps could be 8 hours.  Max depth of deployment is 4200 meters.  We will attach as many as 6 pumps to the wire at various depths.  Each weighs ~51kg in air and ~34kg in water.
We are requesting a mooring winch or similar for deployment and recovery of our small trap lander.

Standard Oceanographic Cables

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

Specialized Deck Equipment

Mooring Deployment/Recovery Equipment Required: yes Type: Small benthic landers
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 will be bringing a small benthic lander for short term (24 hr) deployments to the seafloor.  A diagram is attached.  The largest component weights about 150 lbs in air without anchor (which is 225 lbs).

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:
38% Formaldehyde solution
95% Ethanol
liquid nitrogen
Nitric Acid
Ammonium Hydroxide
230Th in 0.1N HNO3 solution
Manganese chloride (MnCl2·4H20) solution
Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) solution

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yes
Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
We will be conducting CTD and in situ pump casts, and possibly box coring, at night between Alvin dives.
Other required equipment and special needs:
Pinger required for near bottom CTD casts and box coring.

Scientific Instrumentation for HOV Alvin

Current Chart(s):

What type of samples do you expect to collect?1) collections of megafauna with slurp sampler and manipulator arm - mostly sea cucumbers, crabs, brittle stars 2) sediment push cores - for sediment chemsitry 3) large Ekman cores (~20x20cm)- for macrofaunal samples null

Site Survey

Will you provide detailed charts of the work area(s)?no
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 for other than Alvin operations?no

Vehicle Equipment

Bio collection boxes: 12 x 12 x 12
Bio collection boxes: 12 x 12 x 24
Large capacity slurp samplers: multi-chamber
Push corers (12-pack rack)
Scoop nets
Tube cores: 12 core array (12" x 18" milk crate base)


Will you be using elevators to transport samples to the surface?no
If yes, how many would you anticipate?

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 will be bringing metal Ekman grabs for collecting sediment macrofaunal samples using Alvin's manipulator.  These cores are 30 cm by 30 cm, and 35 cm high. They are actuated by rotating a T handle (1/2 inch rod).  Each corer (without sample) weights about 25 lbs in air and 20 in water. They each collect about 8 liters of mud.  They need to be mounted in boxes (e.g., milk crates or plywood boxes) in Alvin's basket.
Does this equipment use an external pressure housing? no
Has the pressure housing been tested per Alvin Pressure Test requirements? no
Pressure housing schematic with dimensions and include air and water weights.
Air weight of this equipment? 25
Water weight of this equipment? 20
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? 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 the vehicle? no
Hydraulic schematic of the equipment requirements.
Does this equipment require manipulation? yes
If yes, please describe how the equipment is to be manipulated:
Each Ekman corer must be lifted out of its open topped box by the manipulator and pushed into the sediment.  The corer is then actuated by rotating a T handle (1/2 inch rod), pulled out of the sediment and replaced in its box.  Corers need to be mounted in boxes (e.g., milk crates or plywood boxes) in Alvin's basket.
Will this equipment be deployed off the vehicle? yes
If yes, please describe how the equipment is intended for deployment:
In boxes in Alvin's basket.
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? yes
Do you intend to recover any other previously deployed equipment? no
If yes, please describe this equipment:
Does this equipment use any glass spheres for either buoyancy or as pressure housings? no
Does the equipment have an associated computer or control panel for remote operation from the personnel sphere? no
Has the computer or control panel been gas tested for use in the personnel sphere? no

Hazardous Material

Will hazardous material be utilized?no
Describe deployment method and quantity:

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments:
Dives will consist of collections (sediment cores, Ekman cores, megafaunal collections) after landing.  Then line transects will be run (500-1000m) using Alvin video and stills cameras (prefer downward looking camera).
Navy Clearance:

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: