Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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AT42-09: Sylvan


R/V Atlantis


HOV Alvin

Cruise Party

Jason Sylvan: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator
Texas A&M University Dep't of Oceanography, Eller O&M Bldg, Rm 1204 College Station, TX USA 77843-3146
+1 979 845 5105

Departure: Mar 26, 2019

San Francisco

Arrival: Apr 24, 2019

San Diego

Operations Area

East Pacific Rise
Lat/Lon: 9° 50.0′ N / 104° 17.0′ W
Depth Range: 2000 / 2600
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? don't think so
Are visas or special travel documents required? no

Science Objectives

the objectives are to study the transition in mineralogy and microbiology as active hydrothermal sulfides transition to inactive.  we will do this through a combination of collecting active vents and allowing them to be exposed on the seafloor, away from venting, and then collecting those samples a week later (this cruise) and a month later (next cruise in 2020) as well as collecting already inactive sulfides and placing down pre-sterilized samples from archive collections for settling

Science Activities

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Teleconference
Meeting Notes: visit if necessary but schedule may not permit. Meg Tivey is co-PI and can help locally as needed
Media personnel on board: Video, Writer
BBC will be onboard for interactions during first leg of cruise. i will also be bringing an outreach specialist, Rebecca Fowler (http://www.rebeccafowler.org/) and possibly a photographer


  EPR 9 50'N
  Distance: 2140
  Days: 12
  Latitude: 9° 50.0’ N
  Longitude: 104° 17.0’ W

Supporting documentation:


Funding Agency: NSF
Grant or contract number: 1756339, 1756419, 1756558

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

Bathymetry System 3.5 kHz
Deionized Water System
12 kHz Pinger for Wire Use
Navigation - Heading
Fume Hood
Navigation - Position

Shipboard Communication

Basic Internet access via HiSeasNet
Is there an expectation to use Skype or any other real-time video conference program?

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

Sample Storage

Climate Controlled Walk-in
Freezer -70°C 25 cu. ft.
Refrigerator 8.6 cu. ft.
Scientific Walk-in Freezer
Scientific Walk-in Refrigerator
Storage Notes: will need refrigerated walk-in, -70C freezer (as much space as possible), -20C freezer, and likely a refrigerator.  potentially the walk-in can serve as a refrigerator, but would be best to have walk-in refigerator AND a standard, kitchen-sized unit in the lab


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: not sure what to write here, we need whatever is necessary for getting to the sites and using Alvin
Winch Notes: nothing in addition to what is needed to deploy CTDs and use Alvin
Winch Notes: potentially bringing a transmissometer for CTD work to detect the plume, but this is not confirmed yet

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: 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:
in progress, but primarily formaldehyde for fixing samples, ethanol for cleaning equipment and acids for chemistry and/or cleaning equipment.  MSDS's will be supplied.

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yes
Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
night time CTD deployments will be conducted
Other required equipment and special needs:
we will be ordering 3-4 canisters of N2 gas for onboard use

Scientific Instrumentation for HOV Alvin

Current Chart(s):

What type of samples do you expect to collect?mostly sulfide rocks. but also major samples, and low-temperature diffuse fluids at Davidson Seamount for microbio/chemistry. possibly low-temp fluids for chemistry at EPR, not microbio. niskins for background sampling and rising plume samples, a few meters above the orifice of the vent 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
Heat flow probe
Large capacity slurp samplers: multi-chamber
Niskin bottles (1L bottle rack)
Niskin bottles (2L bottle)
Rock collection baskets: 12" x 12" x 12" milk crates
Rock collection baskets: 12" x 18" x 12" milk crates
Slurp pump: 5-chamber high flow
Slurp pump: single chamber 'pelagic' medium flow
Special micro-bio box 12" x 18" x 12"


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? 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.
yes/no - will supply one oxygen probe from Geoff Wheat (U. Alaska/MBARI) that has been used by Alvin before, and a set of exposure containers/sample holders that we are constructing specifically for this cruise.  the exposure containers will have no electronics.  the O2 meter will have external pressure housing and will be tested prior to use.  not sure of the weights at this point but will ask about the probe, as well as voltage needed, etc.
Does this equipment use an external pressure housing? yes
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?
Water weight 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 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:
O2 sensor will be placed in venting fluids and held there until a reading is made.  the exposure containers/samplers will be placed on the seafloor and samples moved about in and out of them.  all manipulations will be with the manipulator arms.
Will this equipment be deployed off the vehicle? yes
If yes, please describe how the equipment is intended for deployment:
O2 meter as described above.  for the exposure chambers, samples will first be placed in them, then the chambers will be left behind on the seafloor.  we will recover them later at the end of the cruise.  we are currently designing and constructing these units, but they will likely have some cover placed on them for retrieval.
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? yes
Do you intend to recover any other previously deployed equipment? yes
If yes, please describe this equipment:
current meter, high temperature logger, thermal blanket and microbial growth chambers may be recovered, as time allows.  all of these were left out during cruise AT42-06 in December.  do not have specs but will ask for them.  Dan Fornari likely has specs for the current meter, temp logger and thermal blankets.  not sure if they use any glass spheres, ceramic housings or similar.
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:
Navy Clearance:
Granted 3/20/2019:
WITHIN 10 NM RADIUS OF 35-37N 122-41W DURING PERIOD 260800Z THRU 290800Z MAR 19

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: