Gulf of California 2012

Expedition Equipment

R/V Western Flyer, CTD Rosette, Optical Profiler (PRR), Fast Repetition Rate Flourometer, Underway CTD, Underway pCO2, Blue-water SCUBA diving rig, Two-meter midwater trawl, Detritus sampler, Benthic tool sled, Push cores, Benthic respirometer system, Johnson Flux Chamber System, Suction samplers, Sediment scoops, Laser Raman spectrometer DORISS2, Vibracores, Heat-flow probe, In situ gas sampler, In situ ultraviolet spectrophotometer (ISUS), Gravity corer, Niskin bottles, Biobox, Rock crusher, Glass suction sampler

ROV Doc Ricketts

ROV Doc Ricketts is capable of diving to 4,000 meters (about 2.5 miles). The Western Flyer is the support vessel for Doc Ricketts and was designed with a center well whose floor can be opened to allow Doc Ricketts to be launched from within the ship into the water below.

Research Vessel Western Flyer

R/V Western Flyer was designed and constructed for MBARI to serve as the support vessel for ROV Doc Ricketts. Her missions include the Monterey Bay as well as extended cruises to Hawaii, Gulf of California and the Pacific Northwest.

Benthic respirometer system

Oxygen consumption (a measure of biological activity) of the organisms living in the sediment is measured using a benthic respirometer system (BRS). This instrument is used in situ (in place on the seafloor).


Vibracoring is a common technique used to obtain samples from water-saturated sediment. These corers work by attaching a motor that induces high frequency vibrations in the core liner that in turn liquefies the sediment directly around the core cutter, enabling it to pass through the sediment with little resistance.

Push cores

A push core looks like a clear plastic tube with a rubber handle on one end. Just as its name implies, the push core is pushed down into loose sediment using the ROV's manipulator arm.