This page links to blog articles as they are posted from CoralFISH research cruises at sea.

CoralFISH Cruise Blog

Days 4 and 5 at sea
Sunday 18th October

Jean-Francois is very keen to have the blog translated into French so that the families of the the people on board can read about what is going on during the cruise. This is why you will see 2 blogs for the same date today and for some of the remaining days to come.
Success with Calypso (the carottier/corer), a 23 metre core is recovered.

Yes, it is really Sunday this time! Because of problems with connecting to the blog site at the start of the cruise I have been running one day behind and if you have been following the blogs you will have noticed that the dates and days have been slightly confused. Had it not been for an email from my wife telling me that it was Saturday and not Thursday when I had emailed her then I might not have noticed.
Trying to remember what happened the day before is also difficult as my memory is not as good as it used to be and maybe the patches I have been wearing to combat sea sickness do have a side effect on me after all. I have decided to bring the pages up-to-date so that I can report the events as they happen rather than a day later.

Not too much happened yesterday morning and spent some time down in computer room in level 3 where the Chirp, Seismic and Multibeam data is processed then plotted out in the various maps and charts. These are then used to determine where best to deploy the various pieces of equipment such as SCAMPI and Calypso.



Vincent Guilbaud (left) and Mathieu Kerjean process the data


(L to R) Michel Cremer, David Menier, Jean Francois Bourillet and Jean-Yves Tous study the Chirp trace.


Laure Salzat calculates when the piston cable is realeased.


The major event of the day was the deployment of the Calypso in the afternoon. The Calypso consists of a 14cm diameter metal pipe into which is placed a 12cm plastic liner with an inner diameter of 10cm. It is driven into the sea floor by a 3.2 tonne weight which can push it down into the sediment by as much as 35 meters. A bung/piston placed at the bottom of the liner is attached to a cable that comes up inside the plastic liner, when the point of the corer touches the sea floor a mechanism then releases the cable which then maintains the bung up inside the liner that goes down like a piston creating a vacuum. This acts like a syringe and as the corer goes deeper into the sediment and as the bung is pulled upwards the vacuum it creates helps to draw up the core of sediment. The moment of the release of the bung/piston cable is quite critical and Laure Salzat has the task of trying to predict when the bung is released. There is also a non-return system which does not allow the sampled sediment to fall back out as it is brought to the surface.



A simple diagram of the bung inside the liner


Calypso was deployed around 5.00PM and descended to approximately 1000m. and on this deployment it managed to recover a 23 meter core. The plastic liner is then removed, dried off and marked off at 1 meter intervals which are then cut off and stored for later examination.


Stage one of deployment.


With the 3.2 tonne weight attached Calypso is now ready to be deployed.


After around 2 hours Calypso is retrieved and on first examination it looks to have been a successful deployment.


The end of Calypso covered in a very fine sediment.


A very full liner being cleaned and dried before cutting it into one metre lengths to be stored and examined the following day.


Mathieu Kerjean labels the end caps before placing on the ends of each 1 metre length of liner


Sunday 18th October

It seems that I missed the party in the bar last night, as after dinner I went back to my cabin to see what could be done with the videos that I have been filming. From what I hear, it was a good evening and their were one or two tired looking faces this morning. I will remember this next Saturday.

After breakfast I headed for the laboratories on Level 3 to see if anything was happening and met Fabien Paquet busy examining the cores after they have been sliced lengthways.


Fabien recording the details section 11 from the core. This metre section came from around the middle of the 21.6 metre core that was collected last night.



If you look closely at the image above to where the arrow is pointing you can just see what appears to be a small fish shape. Fabien thinks that this mark may have been made by bioturbation many years ago. Bioturbation is the term used for the movement of sediment caused by the various animals that live and burrow there as the move around in the sediment.

This morning the box grab was deployed twice down to around 400 meters. Both time it failed to retrieve any sediment. This may have been due to the fact that the sea floor was a mixture of very fine sand and debris of corals.. It was decided to try with the other grab, I think it is called the swing-arm grab because of it method of operation. Unfortunately, it too was unable to penetrate the hard sand below so we will move to another location tomorrow to try again.
18 Oct 2009 - 21:37 by CoralFISH BobGeo Cruise | comments (0)
News management powered by Xpression News
 

Latest News
EU Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn launches €8 billion FP7 research call. More here.
CoralFISH will have a display at the European Commission's 'Research in Action' exhibition in Dublin, July 9th-20th, showcasing EU-funded Research in Ireland.
CoralFISH will be involved in the Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale in Galway June 30th - July 8th. More information available here
Registration and abstract submission for the joint CoralFISH/Deepfishman conference in August "The scientific basis for ecosystem based resource management and monitoring in the deep-waters of the Mediterranean & North Atlantic" is open here.
Issue 6 (March 2012) of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
Issue 5 (October 2011) of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
CoralFISH researchers were at sea in Autumn 2011 on the Pourquoi Pas? Their cruise blog is a good read, even now they're back on land.
NIOZ are organising the 5th International Deepsea Coral Symposium, to be held in Spring 2012. (More)
A workshop on coral identification will be held as part of the syposium and registration is now open (More).
CoralFISH researchers were involved in the "International Earth system expert workshop on ocean stresses and impacts" earlier this year. The summary report from the workshop is now available here.
BBC website features work by CoralFISH's Chris Yesson and Alex Rogers on global seamounts.
Issue 4 (February 2011) of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
Some recent work by CoralFISH researcher Andre Freiwald & his team features in the latest edition of Ireland's Science Spin magazine p3. (More)
CoralFISH partners ZSL hosted a symposium "Marine Protected Areas on the high seas" in Feb 2011 (more)
Issue 3 of the CoralFISH newsletter is now available here.
CoralFISH were represented at EurOCEAN 2010 (Ostend, 12-13 October 2010). (more)
The World Conference on Marine Biodiversity was hosted by CoralFISH partners, the University of Aberdeen, Sept 2011.
Issue 2 of the CoralFISH Newsletter is available to download now from here
CoralFISH team in the Azores get ready to sail (More)
SEAMBOR report released. (Marine Board-ESF Position Paper 14) (More)
CoralFISH scientists will be aboard an ECOMAR cruise departing St John's in Canada on 26th May. Follow their cruise here
CoNISMa are running a course in meta-analysis in ecology in December. More info.
A joint ESF/ICES/EFARO foresight report entitled: "Science dimensions of Ecosystem Approach to Management of Biotic Ocean Resources" will be published shortly.(more)
News archive