Aug
17
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by holserr on 17-08-2009

A few of us brave sailors have once again embarked on a sea-born adventure. Due to space and time restrictions on the primary SUCCES cruise, a number of experiments are taking place piggy-backed on to a cruise for the Reimers lab. Al Devol brought his lander out to allow us to look at changes at chemical changes in the water-sediment interface over the course of around 15 hours. The lander is affectionately known as Ole Yeller
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The lander is programmed to drop it’s ballast at a specified time in the morning, causing it to rise to the surface. Additionally, surface buoys, flags, lights, and transmitters ensure that we don’t lose track of the gear, even if it does not surface on its own.
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The other members of the SUCCES crew (myself included) are managing a number of incubation experiments intended to watch chemical changes in both surface and bottom boundary layer water over the course of a week. Every day we stop a portion of the incubation for analysis. There are several different iron incubations, a TCO2 incubation, and two POC incubations.

Meanwhile, the Reimers lab has been attempting to collect sediment cores the last two nights, but unfortunately haven’t had much success yet. We’ve cracked one tube, lost another on the bottom, and pulled up a lot of water.

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The weather has been slightly less cooperative the last two days (25+ knot winds, 6ft wind waves and 7ft swells) which may be contributing to their difficulty.

Aug
11
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by holserr on 11-08-2009

The whole SUCCES science crew.IMG_3188_2

Aug
11
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Robert on 11-08-2009

We have had a spectacular cruise in every way imaginable …
here are few final pictures to leave you with:

Exciting science – dissolved methane plume over Heceta Head sxs2_xsct3_methane

Studying the finer points of the food chain.food_chain_small

Dale contemplates the meaning of …?DaleContemplatesSmall

But then he calls in for reinforcements HowMany

Kipp supervises. KippSupervises

The traditional ritual cup-squeeze-on-the-CTD has been offered up to Neptune.Cups

Sara and Miguel feel the way we all to about this “SUCCESful expedition.”AllSmiles

The seas were calm and friendly. SunsetSmall

as our hosts waive good bye.JustAfluke3

Aug
09
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by holserr on 09-08-2009

I think it’s only fair that we also introduce our primary author, who is pictured here in deep contemplation of his next blog post.IMG_3085_2

Aug
08
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Robert on 08-08-2009

We have shared some of the science and certainly some of the views of the ocean. But the ship’s crew and professional staff make our work possible. We are a team, as we live and work together at sea. It’s hard to know where to start – perhaps at the TOP …
TheBridge The Bridge changes the watch. Captain Rick briefs 2nd Mate Toni as AB Patrick keeps us all pointed where we need to go.

DoghouseComposite AB Doug stands by in the DogHouse (winch and crane control) and helps us lower the CTD water sampler to the seafloor.

DoSiDo in MarTech Office The Marine Technician’s office is always a hub of activity … a line for an ethernet cable or a square dance (see Video at 11).

GalleyCrew Jockie and John have the most stressful job on the ship – feeding your friends 3-times/day, 24/7. But their constant smiles show their pride and good humor – surely needed to care for this shipload of misfits (speaking for myself, of course).

EmptyLab SO, if I say we are working so, so hard, WHERE IS EVERYONE (is it a movie? a whale on the rail? is it a Fire and Boat drill?) …

TheMess But of course! It’s dinner time.

Aug
04
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Robert on 04-08-2009

OK – so the blogosphere has missed us (maybe one of two of you) – but we really have been working hard… really!  We are working in very shallow water which is both beautiful and requires constant vigilance to keep the towed vehicles OFF the rocks (thanks again to the COAS Active Tectonics and Seafloor Mapping Group)!   The dye was injected at 35m water depth off Neskowin and we have been following it around ever since.  This has been complicated in that it wandered off south into the Siletz Reef complex (remembering Tackle-Buster reef from May, which now has orange paint on it).

Below are a few shots of how difficult the views have been (every once and a while the fog lifts and “Oh, my GOSH!, the radar is RIGHT!  There IS a mountain right there! (Cascade Head).

Cascade1
Cascade Head appears.

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Much better in the sun!

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Wecoma sails west.

BirdFood
Bird Food.

BirdBath
Bird Bath

PeekAboo
Peek-a-boo

Then,   every once and a while, dinner jumps out of the ocean and presents itself ….

Tooner

Jul
30
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by shearmar on 30-07-2009
Section of east/west (top) and north/south (bottom) currents on the Oregon shelf

Section of east/west (top) and north/south (bottom) currents on the Oregon shelf

Our first ADCP (acoustic Doppler current profiler) velocity section across the shelf (east/west currents above and north/south currents below). The section runs east/west from 124 W to about 124 38.5W along 45 8.4N. You can see the southward (blues) flowing coastal upwelling jet at the surface on the shallow end (centered around the 40 m isobath), and *lots* of surface poleward (yellows and reds) flow spanning most of the shelf. I have a feeling we’ll be chasing the dye to the north …

Jul
30
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Robert on 30-07-2009

We sailed from Newport this morning and began surveys of our worksite early this afternoon.   Leaving Yaquina Bay, we found the views the same as we found them last month – with cold fog on the coast and 105 degree weather in the valleys to the east.

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We have chosen to move our injection site north to avoid a repeat collision with shallow pinnacles that grounded our vehicle in May.  We ran survey lines along the 25, 30, 35 and 40m isobath and also collected ocean current data with the 600 kHz ADCP.   We are now running a long section out to 500m water depth (~30 miles) to gather more information on currents that will help us decide where to inject the dye.      Or survey this morning brought us within one half mile of Haystack Rock and the Pacific City beach … but the FOG was so thick that we could barely see one end of the ship from the other.    (Map images courtesy of C. Romsos, OSU).

Work area for the Carbon study group during early August.   Bathymetric and current surveys shown below

Work area for the Carbon study group

Jun
02
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Robert on 02-06-2009

No words needed (mostly) …

The Sea Buoy ...

The ride in off Heceta Bank ...

The Sea Buoy (now we're close ...)

The Sea Buoy (now we're close ... so the radar tells us)

The Anchor Detail on watch as we enter the jetty.

The Anchor Detail on watch as we enter the jetty.

Now we know were in Newport

Now we know were in Newport

The (long) wait to tie up.

The (long) wait to tie up.

Thank you for joining us.  Stay tuned for August.

May
31
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Robert on 31-05-2009

During SUCCES, two tracers (Fluorescein and SF6) are being used to delineate water from the bottom boundary layer (BBL), and allow us to determine the advection (transport) and dispersion (spreading out) of the body of water (“the patch”).  By marking the water from the BBL, scientists on the cruise can measure biogeochemical changes taking place in the water to ultimately determine controls on, and the fate of, carbon from the BBL.

Why use two tracers?  Each tracer has its advantages and disadvantages.  For instance, Fluorescein, which is a fluorescent dye, can be measured easily with an in situ fluorometer at high resolution.  However, it is relatively expensive, so only a limited quantify of dye could be used. SF6 is less expensive and has a greater dynamic range than fluorescent dyes, which means it can be accurately measured over a broader range of concentrations (i.e., we can still measure the SF6 after the dye has become too dilute to measure).  Also, because SF6 is a gas, we can use it to examine the dynamics of gases dissolved in ocean water, and the transfer of gases between the atmosphere and the ocean.

One focus of this experiment is the methane produced in seafloor sediments that diffuses into the water column, and whether upwelling events can transport this methane to surface waters and ultimately to the atmosphere.  Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, so understanding fluxes of methane from oceans to the atmosphere is necessary to quantify the contribution of methane to climate change.  Because it is a gas, SF6 allows us to quantify transfer of gases between the sea and the atmosphere, and can thus be used to determine how much methane has been lost to the atmosphere.

For the past 2 weeks, a 20 ft container on the R/V Wecoma has been home to a group of us—David Ho and Sara Ferrón-Smith (University of Hawaii), and Matthew Reid (Princeton University)—who are measuring SF6 on the SUCCES cruise.

Matt on deck preparing a tank of SF6-saturated water to pump into the Bottom Boundary Layer

Matt on deck preparing a tank of SF6-saturated water to pump into the Bottom Boundary Layer

Sara, hard at work changing a sample loop on the automated Gas Chromatograph, used to measure SF6 concentrations in the water

Sara, hard at work changing a sample loop on the automated Gas Chromatograph, used to measure SF6 concentrations in the water

We have employed the tracer technique in rivers, estuaries, wetlands, and oceans all over the world.  However, this is the first time we have used it to mark a patch of water from the bottom boundary layer. Our instrument for measuring SF6 is fully automated and has worked very well during this cruise.  This leaves us with plenty of time to get (re)acquainted, explore the Internet, and discuss science, politics, history, culture, and whatever other topics comes to mind.

The figure below shows one day’s worth of preliminary data of SF6 concentrations at the seafloor.  The plot is a “map” (note latitude and longitude axis) and the color represents the concentration of the tracer SF6 in the bottom boundary layer.  The SF6 “patch” is colored in red and non-labeled water in blue.

This "map" shows the SF6 tracer concentration (in parts per trillion) in the bottom boundary layer of our study site.  This tracer is mixed away to undetectable concentrations in a few days.

This "map" shows the SF6 tracer concentration (in parts per trillion) in the bottom boundary layer of our study site. This tracer is mixed away to undetectable concentrations in a few days.

If you are interested in more information on tracking a tracer patch at sea (or in the dynamics of gas transfer across the air-sea interface), the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment Blog has some stories from a cruise last spring in which SF6 was used as a tracer in an experiment focused on air-sea gas exchange.