Expedition Log


The search for methane in the water column

Lonny Lundsten and Michelle Côté While the ROV and AUV surveys are the priorities for this research expedition, as per the multidisciplinary nature of this mission, we are constantly designing other science tasks that are undertaken as time allows. Investigating the release of methane into the water column from seafloor features is an additional area of interest for the scientists …

Expedition Log


Push-core sampling and whale feeding marks

Lonny Lundsten and Michelle Côté We recovered two AUVs during the first several hours of the morning. At 10:30 a.m. the MiniROV arrived at the seafloor at a depth of 240 meters. The mission objective was to ground truth a slump scar using the video camera on the ROV.  A slump scar is essentially an underwater landslide with …

Expedition Log


AUV and ROV operations

Lonny Lundsten and Michelle Côté Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations are now underway. Our team has developed a rhythm and the crew of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier (SWL) is expertly handling AUV and ROV deployments. There is an ongoing dance between the various scientific elements of this expedition to integrate the mooring work, CTD casts, …

Expedition Log


Mooring work, CTD casts, and surface seawater analysis

Lonny Lundsten and Michelle Côté The principal activities conducted during this expedition on Sir Wilfrid Laurier are led by Chief Scientist Humphrey Melling of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. These activities include the servicing of subsea oceanographic instruments and moorings for ocean and sea‐ice monitoring, CTD rosette casts at selected locations, and continuous underway measurement of surface seawater …

Expedition Log


Beaufort Sea mud volcanos

Lonny Lundsten and Michelle Côté As development continues in the Canadian Arctic, it is crucial for scientists to understand the causes and effects of changes to the seabed and to identify areas of special concern, including ecologically sensitive habitats and geohazards. Mud volcanos in the upper slope area are of particular interest as they are thought to …

Expedition Log


Preparing for operations

Today we sailed towards Kugluktuk, Canada, for a refueling stop alongside a Canadian fuel tanker. We sailed past the icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent. While in transit, MBARI technicians and Canadian Coast Guard crew members hauled out gear from the hold and onto the well deck for assembly. MiniROV pilots Dale Graves, Frank Flores, and Ben Erwin …

Expedition Log


Traveling to the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Yesterday we took a late-night flight from Yellowknife, Canada, to Cambridge Bay, Canada. Then we took a quick but cold ride, on a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB), out to the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and arrived onboard at around 10:00 p.m. In Yellowknife, we switched to a plane that could land on a gravel runway. At the …

Expedition Log


Loading day

The weather is damp and windy, but the science gear was successfully loaded onto the Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker (CCGS) Sir Wilfrid Laurier. A helicopter was used to deliver two loads, each slightly less than the limit of about 635 kilograms (1,400 pounds), to the ship.