Expedition Log

03.03.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 8

Wrapping Up a Productive Cruise Today we completed our leg of the Gulf of California expedition with a half-day ROV dive close to the port where the Western Flyer docks near La Paz. It was an incredibly productive cruise with ROV Doc Ricketts dives every day, MiniROV dives most days, midwater trawls most nights, and even a few nights …

Expedition Log

03.02.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 7

Food Web Ecology As we near the end of the midwater ecology leg, scientists onboard are beginning to piece together a unique collection of observations and data gathered from ROV dives and midwater trawls. A synthesis of these observations will provide us with new insights regarding how deep-water animals of the Gulf of California interact …

Expedition Log

03.01.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 6

Unique Organisms in the Deep Sea In addition to documenting the ecological zonation of the water column in the Gulf of California, we are venturing into parts of the ocean that have likely not been explored by humans before, in particular, not with the deep-sea observational tools we are using during this cruise. We have …

Expedition Log

02.26.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 5

MiniROV and ROV Doc Ricketts Today was another very successful day aboard the Western Flyer, with nearly six-hour dives with both the MiniROV and ROV Doc Ricketts. Working with both ROVs lets us cover a greater depth range than with one alone. As I mentioned in the February 22 post, ROV Doc Ricketts is capable of very deep dives (up to …

Expedition Log

02.25.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 4

Oxygen Minimum Zones My research program at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel investigates the life cycles, behavior, and ecology of pelagic fauna and, in particular, oceanic cephalopods. One specific goal of my work is to establish a baseline of pelagic animal diversity, distributions, and abundance in relation to the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) …

Expedition Log

02.24.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 3

Coping with Low Oxygen Levels Nutrients are brought to the Gulf of California by runoff, causing phytoplankton to thrive near the sea surface. The phytoplankton add oxygen to the surface layers as does the exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. This makes the surface waters relatively oxygen-rich. When phytoplankton die, they sink down from …

Expedition Log

02.23.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 2

MiniROV Deployment We began the day bright and early, ready to deploy the MiniROV. This small ROV was designed as a fly-away system that could be shipped anywhere in the world and used on any ship. It has been used to explore Arctic seafloors multiple times. Now it’s getting the chance to explore the warm …

Expedition Log

02.22.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology

February 22-March 3, 2015 The second leg of this expedition will be concentrated in the Gulf of California’s central and southern basins to better understand the oxygen minimum zone in this area and its influence on the ecology and physiology of midwater animals. Researchers on this leg hypothesize that the unusual composition, vertical distribution, and …

Expedition Log

02.22.15

Gulf of California 2015, Leg 2 – Midwater Ecology – Log 1

ROV Doc Ricketts to the rescue Upon arrival in La Paz, the midwater scientists were informed that our colleagues on the R/V Rachel Carson needed the help of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts. The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), used to map areas of the seafloor to help scientists target interesting features, had gotten caught on something not far …