Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Cruise Planning Synopsis

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R/V Atlantis


HOV Alvin

Cruise Party

Samantha Joye: Chief Scientist, Principal Investigator
University of Georgia DEPARTMENT OF MARINE SCIENCES ATHENS, Georgia United States 30602-3636
+1 706 542 5893

Departure: Nov 8, 2010

Galveston Texas

Arrival: Dec 3, 2010

Gulfport MS

Operations Area

Gulf of Mexico
Lat/Lon: 27° 43.4′ N / 90° 16.8′ W
Depth Range: 650 / 2600
Will the vessel be operating within 200 NM of a foreign country? no
Are visas or special travel documents required? no

Science Objectives

The primary objectives of this cruise are to collect depth stratified samples of brine fluids from brine pools, brine basins, mud volcanoes, and the surrounding sediments at sites in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Secondary objectives are to map the sites, collect water column profiles above the brine habitats (via night time CTD casts), and make air-sea flux measurements of methane and carbon dioxide. 
Please note that I have requested 3 additional dives/days from the NSF to collect sediment and water columns samples in the vicinity (2.5 miles and further out) of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.  Our objectives at these sites would be to collect water column (CTD) and sediment (ALVIN) samples at three sites and to map the seafloor around the area. 

Science Activities

Science activities include 1) Alvin dives, 2) CTD casts, 3) mapping surveys, and 4) air-sea gas exchange measurements.  
During Alvin dives, we will collect brine samples with a custom built sampling device; collect sediment push cores; photo and video the study sites; and deploy monitoring sensors and camera systems.  
Night operations will include multibeam surveys and CTD casts.  
Gas exchange measurements will be made continuously with an underway system.

Additional Info

Pre-cruise Planning Meeting: Teleconference
Media personnel on board: Video
This has not been confirmed but is likely


  Distance: 176
  Days: 2
  Latitude: 26° 23.3’ N
  Longitude: 94° 30.8’ W

Supporting documentation:

Notes: Subsurface Monitoring Unit (SMU) (SIMOPS) are still monitoring vessel movement with in 15 km of the DH well head.  


Funding Agency: NSF
Grant or contract number: EF0801741

Scientific Instrumentation for R/V Atlantis

Shipboard Equipment

Bathymetry System 12 kHz
Science Underway Seawater System
Deionized Water System
Fume Hood
12 kHz Pinger for Wire Use
Transponder Navigation - Sonardyne USBL
Relay Transponder for Wire Use
Navigation - Heading
Navigation - Position

CTD/Water Sampling

Seapoint STM turbidity sensor
911+ Rosette 24-position, 10-liter bottle Rosette with dual T/C sensors
SBE43 oxygen sensor
Wet Labs ECO-AFL fluorometer
Wet Labs C*Star transmissometer (660nm wavelength)
Biospherical underwater PAR (1000m depth limit) with reference Surface PAR

Critical CTD Sensors

WET Labs ECO CDOM fluorometer

MET Sensors

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

Sediment Sampling

Box corer
Gravity corers

Sample Storage

Freezer -70°C 25 cu. ft.
Scientific Walk-in Freezer
Climate Controlled Walk-in
Refrigerator 8.6 cu. ft.
Freezer -70°C 3.2 cu. ft. ea.
Storage Notes: We will be bringing a refrigerator and freezer for sample storage; these will be secured on deck.  We will need a refrigerator in each lab and two -80 freezers (in total).


Will you be using Long Base Line (LBL) navigation? no
How many nets? 0
How many tansponders? 0
Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation?no


Trawl Winch with 9/16th trawl wire
CTD Winch with .322" Electro-mechanical wire
Hydro Winch with .25" hydro wire
Winch Notes: 9/16th trawl wire for coring ops.

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: yes Type: Elevators (3 total )
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: yes Identify to the radioisotope van
Equipment Handling: no Identify: 
Inter/intraship Communications: no Identify: 
Science Stowage: no Identify: 
Water: yes Identify: to the radioisotope van

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:
Hazardous materials will be used inside the lab areas; radioisotope will be used only in the isotope van. 
Hazmat information (MSDS) will be uploaded by the members of the science party. 

Radioactive Material


Additional Information

Is night time work anticipated on this cruise?yes
Specialized tech support (Seabeam, coring, other):
Standard multibeam and CTD ops; computer support will also be needed.
Other required equipment and special needs:
The UCSW system will have to be carefully monitored throught the cruise.  SSSG and Science should continually sample water to determine if the flow through system may become compromised with oil residue still below the surface.

Scientific Instrumentation for HOV Alvin

Current Chart(s):

What type of samples do you expect to collect?Brine fluids, carbonate rock, sediment cores, water samples slurp samplers may be used for collection of small oil plumes (with filters). null null 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? 0
How many tansponders? 0
Will you be using Ultra-short baseline (USBL) navigation for other than Alvin operations?no

Vehicle Equipment

Push corers (12-pack rack)
High temperature probe (0-480°C)
Low temperature probe
Scoop nets
Small capacity slurp samplers


Will you be using elevators to transport samples to the surface?yes
If yes, how many would you anticipate? 3

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.
1.  Brine fluid samples will be collected with a custom built sampling device fabricated at UGA.  We have consulted with the ALVIN crew on the instrument design.  Samples are degassed during retrieval so do not represent a hazard.
2. A rack of six-500 mL niskin bottles for bottom water sampling
3.  A cable, winch, and CTD for lowering into the brine 
4.  Camera systems for short term deployment at the study site
5.  In situ mass spectrometer (belongs to Peter Girguis; has a pressure housing; has been used on ALVIN previously)
Does this equipment use an external pressure housing? yes
Has the pressure housing been tested per Alvin Pressure Test requirements? yes
Pressure housing schematic with dimensions and include air and water weights.
Air weight of this equipment? 2
Water weight of this equipment?
Does the equipment require a power interface from Alvin? no
Voltage required null
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? yes
How many? 2 Single
Pressure requirements?
Flow requirements?
Hydraulic schematic of the equipment requirements.
Does this equipment require manipulation? yes
If yes, please describe how the equipment is to be manipulated:
valves on sampling bottle need to be opened and closed; cameras need to be positioned; CTD cable needs to be lowered 
Will this equipment be deployed off the vehicle? yes
If yes, please describe how the equipment is intended for deployment:
CTD cable will be carried on the front rack; cameras will be carried on standard ALVIN elevators
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? no
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? yes
Does the equipment have an associated computer or control panel for remote operation from the personnel sphere? yes
Has the computer or control panel been gas tested for use in the personnel sphere? yes

Hazardous Material

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

Additional Information

Brief operations description or comments:
Navy Clearance:
Granted 10/29/10:
  WITHIN 10 NM RADIUS OF 26-23N 94-31W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN 10 NM RADIUS OF 27-33N 92-32W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN 10 NM RADIUS OF 27-19N 92-06W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN 10 NM RADIUS OF 26-57N 91-16W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN 20 NM RADIUS OF 27-43N 91-24W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN  5 NM RADIUS OF 27-42N 90-39W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN 10 NM RADIUS OF 27-01N 90-17W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN 10 NM RADIUS OF 27-38N 88-21W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10
  WITHIN 15 NM RADIUS OF 28-46N 88-24W DURING PERIOD 080700Z NOV THRU 050700Z DEC 10

Checklist & Notes


U.S. Customs Form: no
Diplomatic Clearance: no
Date Submitted:
Date Approved:
Agent Information:

Attn: Scientist's Name
c/o Biehl & Company
111 Rosenberg Ave.
Galveston, TX 77550

Contacts: Russ Mullins, George Christie, Sev Losoya
Phone: (409) 763-6451
Fax: (409) 763-2026
Telex: 149182
Email: biehlgal@biehlco.com or biehlgalv@aol.com

The above address is for mail only. For larger items, please use the following:

Master R/V Ship Name
Attn: Scientist's Name
c/o Danner's Inc.
1828 Mechanic St.
Galveston, TX 77550

Phone: (409) 762-9638

** DOCK ADDRESS: Pier 21, Galveston Tx 77550 **
Please have all gas deliveries sent to this address on Nov 5.

Note: Agent and WHOI contacts should be copied on all communications. It is requested that shipment information of any equipment be communicated to the Agent and WHOI contacts


Attn:  Scientist's Name
Fillette Green Shipping Services (USA) Corp.
261 N. Conception Street
Mobile, AL   36603

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 1842
Mobile, AL   36633
Phone:  (251) 375-2224
Fax:  (251) 423-6813
Email: mob@fillettegreen.com

Contact:  John Chaulk
Cell:  (251) 379-6597

WHOI NOTE:  Agent and WHOI contacts should be copied on all communications.  It is requested that shipping information of any equipment be communicated to the Agent and
WHOI contacts.

Isotope Use Approval: yes
Isotope Notes:
Science must completely remove all unused rads and rad waste completely from vessel after the cruise is completed in Gulfport.
SCUBA Diving: no


SSSG Tech:
Allison Heater (f), Dave Simms (m)
MOB DATES in Galveston TX - PIER 21
NOV 5, 6, 7
Science can move aboard 6 Nov

DEMOB DATES in Gulfport MS
DEC 3, 4
Sceince can stay aboard night of Dec 3.