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Coastal Transition zone of the Canary Current Large Marine ecosystem. Long term monitoring of the changes in the physical and biochemical properties of the CCLME.
Transit Expedition in the East Atlantic
Lucky Strike vent field for the EMSO-Azores observatory maintenance, and complementary sampling and mapping activities.
Cruise report: https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00709/82149/
RV Celtic Explorer expedition CE21016 (SyMonS_MoM_2): Collection of MonSta lander array and redeployment in the Belgica Mound Province, Porcupine Seabight
Habitat mapping, VME mapping, CAMPOD, selected sampling of specimens in Icelandic EEZ
Cruise report: https://www.hafogvatn.is/static/research/files/hv2021-40.pdf
The annual scientific pilgrimage to the EMSO deep-sea observatory is underway, with the French research vessel L’Atalante steaming southwards from Toulon towards the portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Azores.
Research scientists from Ifremer make this journey every year to service the deep-sea observatory instruments and collect data. The EMSO non-cabled multidisciplinary observatory is devoted to the long term integrated study of mid-ocean ridge processes, from the subsea floor to the water column. This year the science team on board also includes scientists from the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris.
RV L’Atalante left Toulon on 15 May, and will take around 10 days to reach the observatory site. Once there, the team will not only carry out the necessary maintenance tasks on the observatory but will also undertake a range of investigations using other equipment, including Ifremer’s manned submersible Nautile which can dive to 6,000m with three passengers on board.
The data collected during this expedition will feed into iAtlantic’s work on environmental timeseries. The team will also sample mussel larvae and juveniles that will be kept alive onboard for lab experiments back at base to assess the impact of climate change on the behaviour and physiology of mussel juveniles through varying oxygen concentrations.
You can follow the progress of L’Atalante and the team on board via the expedition’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CampagneMomarsat (en français)
Investigation of deep-sea coral and hydrothermal vent ecosystems of the central Mid-Atlantic Ridge: MB survey, towed camera survey, CTD-rosette, multicorer. The iMAR cruise aims to evaluate the role of the MAR in shaping the latitudinal and trans-Atlantic patterns in deep-sea biogeography, connectivity and assemblages of deep-sea megafauna.
Investigation of the biological carbon pump in two Norwegian fjords, and sampling of mass jellyfish blooms.
HE570 will conduct a process study of the biological carbon pump (the cycling of carbon through the natural ecosystem) in two Norwegian Fjords that are located close together and are of similar size and structure, but have fundamentally different pelagic ecosystem structures. This makes them ideal environments to use as natural laboratories. One fjord – Masfjorden – sustains populations of mesopelagic fishes (those that live in the middle of the water column, about 200-1000 m water depth) and has negligible populations of jellyfish; the other fjord – Lurefjorden – is characterised by a year-round mass abundance of the deep-sea jellyfish Periphylla periphylla.
The scientists aim to quantify the respective contributions that the different components of the ecosystem (zooplankton and fishes) make to the mass flux of carbon in the natural system. To do this, they will deploy a suite of different state-of-the-art in situ imaging systems, hydroacoustic instruments, sediment traps, and vertically stratified nets. They will also try to collect specimens of the Periphylla jellyfish to measure their response to different temperatures and amounts of sediment in the water, as part of iAtlantic’s work on understanding the effects of multiple stressors on deep-sea ecosystems.
On 8 January 2021, a team of 21 scientists aboard the German research vessel Sonne will set out on the IceDivA expedition (SO280) in the Atlantic to study the diversity of marine organisms in the deep sea. They intend to collect samples from the Iceland Basin to the Azores at depths between 4,000 and 5,000 meters and map the ocean floor by means of hydroacoustics. To date, the deep-sea ecosystem has been studied less extensively than the far side of the moon. The team hopes that the IceDivA expedition will contribute to a better understanding of the deep-sea biome, ultimately leading to more efficient conservation measures.
The primary focus of the IceDivA expedition is to study the distribution of deep-sea species. In this context, IceDivA can build on the findings of several preceding projects – the end point of the previous expedition IceAGE3 (SO276 in the summer of 2020) defines the starting point of this new expedition. The integration of data from previous missions forms a central component of the IceDivA work, with comparable and consistent use of equipment and standardized sampling techniques making it possible to evaluate paradigms regarding biodiversity, species inventory, and species composition in relation to depth and width.
The IceDivA expedition connects two deep-sea projects in this regard: IceAGE (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology) and DIVA (Latitudinal Gradients in BioDIVersity in the deep Atlantic) as well as the EU project iAtlantic. IceAGE is an established international project that was initiated in 2011 and builds on the preceding project BIOICE (Benthic Invertebrates of Icelandic Waters). By connecting to the southernmost IceAGE3 station, IceDivA adds a latitudinal gradient, which in turn forms a link to the BIODIAZ project (Controls in benthic and pelagic BIODIversity of the AZores). The study area is located in one of iAtlantic’s regions of interest (the Porcupine deep-sea plain and the Azores plateau). A contiguous and comprehensive mapping of the ocean floor by means of hydroacoustics is an indispensable prerequisite for identifying habitats – one of the iAtlantic project’s primary tasks, and an equally important objective in the IceDivA project.
In addition to the biological studies, the “DArgo2025_RBRpilot” project will also be on board. As part of this project, a total of 10 ARGO floats made by different manufacturers will be equipped with sensors for measuring the salinity, temperature and pressure (CTD) to compare their respective performance. Breaking with the traditional approach, on this expedition the floats will be released as a swarm in a single position, if possible, to obtain an initial direct comparison of the measuring parameters. Concurrently, the water column in the release area will be examined at a fine scale with onboard CTD sensors. These measurements serve as a reference for assessing the ARGO float data. During the course of the expedition on RV Sonne, after their successful release, the floats will repeatedly dive to depths of 2,000 meters and return to the surface 48 hours later to transmit the collected data via satellite to a data centre.
The team on board will be sending back regular reports via our expedition blog – so check back here soon for the latest updates from RV Sonne.
Belgica Mound province: ROV (photogrammetry), ROV multibeam, lander deployment