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The cruise will depart from Santos harbour (São Paulo state) on 5 December 2022 and will return to Rio de Janeiro on 21 December 2022. The scientific team includes 19 people, led by Angel Perez (UNIVALI) and Halesio Barros Neto (Petrobras). Most of the team are early career scientists (including 5 iAtlantic Fellows) and oceanography students (12) from UNIVALI, University of São Paulo, Federal University of Espírito Santo and Federal University of Santa Catarina.
This cruise will concentrate on sampling activities within a box in the Santos Basin, which spans the shelf break and an upper slope terrace (see maps below). Background data available from the area shows that it contains pockmarks, reflective (hard) substrate, and a large concentration of deep-sea trawl marks. These data were gathered through collaborative efforts between the Oceanographic Institute (University of São Paulo), Petrobras and UNIVALI. Evidence suggests that the area may contain cold-water coral communities and biogeochemical processes that have sustained, in the past, valuable catches of commercial deep-sea species, including deep-sea crabs, shrimps and finfish. We will also look for evidence of habitat degradation caused by these fishing activities.
Exploration in the study area will include multibeam sounding and a sequence of image profiles using a tow cam system (pictured left) at water depths of 200 – 800 m. These activities will contribute to iAtlantic objectives in ecosystem mapping and community description.
We will also conduct box core sampling at greater depths in the lower slope area to collect sediment for ex situ on board incubation experiments, as part of iAtlantic’s studies on cumulative impacts and multiple stressors on marine ecosystems.