AMLR 2005 Weekly Report No. 1
17 January 2005
1. The U.S.
AMLR Program accepted the Russian R/V Yuzhmorgeologiya as ready for the 2005 charter at 0800 on 8 January 2005 in Punta
Over the next three days, provisions,
equipment and personnel were embarked, laboratories were set up, and
instrumentation was installed and tested. The ship departed at 0900 on 11 January 2005 for the U.S. AMLR
study area in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica.
In route to the U.S. AMLR study area,
gale force winds were encountered while crossing Drake Passage
delaying landfall at Admiralty Bay
on King George
Island until late 14 January,
approximately 12 hours behind schedule.
Upon fetching Admiralty Bay,
a second low-pressure system packing gale force east winds made initial zodiac
operations at Copacabana field camp not possible. The ship anchored in Ezcurra Inlet.
2. With much improved weather
conditions zodiac operations began the morning of 15 January. Personnel (W.
Trivelpiece, S. Woods), provisions, lumber
and mail were transferred to the Copacabana field camp and the Polish base Artcowski. In addition the ships new Simrad
ES60 multi frequency echosounder was successfully
calibrated while at anchor.
3. On the evening of 15 January,
the ship fetched Cape Shirreff, Livingston
Island. Provisions, lumber, mail
and personnel (R. Holt, D. Krause, C. Vera, D. Torres)
were transferred to the AMLR and INACH (Chilean) Cape
field camps the following morning 16 January.
4. In addition five autonomous
instrumented buoys were assembled aboard ship and deployed via Zodiac 6nm off Cape
successfully. After communications failure and inspection the buoys had to be
recovered due to leaks in their main pressure casings.
5. On 17 January, a survey of
bio-oceanographic conditions in the vicinity of the South Shetland
Islands was initiated. The survey area consists of four strata:
the West Area north of King George and Livingston
Islands; the Elephant Island Area
encompassing the northern portion of the South Shetland archipelago; the Joinville Island Area in the western portion of Bransfield Strait;
and the South Area in the central portion of Bransfield Strait
south of King George and Livingston Islands.
Planned order of coverage will be the West Area followed by the Elephant Island
Area, the Joinville Island Area, and the South Area.
6. Oceanography and meteorology.
The Antarctic Polar Front was crossed between latitudes 57° 41 S and 61° 48 S,
with the sea surface temperature dropping from 7.3°C to 1.8°C and a
corresponding decrease in salinity from 34.04 PPT to 33.63 PPT. After crossing the Antarctic Polar front the air temperature
dropped from 6°C to reach -1°C on Friday. The barometer cycled between
981 and 991 millibars, on four occasions, since
sailing day. The faulty Licor 2pi PAR sensor was
replaced with a new unit and an additional PAR sensor (Biospherical
4pi) was integrated into the SCS system. Strong westerly winds between 30 and
40 knots (peaking 50 knots), swinging to 20 to 40 knot Easterlies on Thursday
and dropping to an average of 10 knots on Saturday.
7. Phytoplankton. Preliminary
testing of equipment shows all sensors working properly, exept
for transmissometer (new plug will arrive for Leg
II). This year we have added an additional PAR sensor so that we will be
measuring light with both scaler and cosine sensors.
8. Bird and marine mammal
observations. Seabird and mammal observation were collected during transit from
Punta Arenas to King
Highlights in the Drake Passage included: Gray-backed
Storm Petrel, Common Diving Petrel, Rockhopper
Penguin, Macaroni Penguin.Black-browed, Wandering and
Royal Albatrosses were frequently encountered in the Drake as well, and both
northern and southern sub-species of Royal Albatross were observed. Upon
crossing the Antarctic convergence zone, there were 100's of Antarctic Prions, Thin-billed Prions, and
Blue Petrels traveling in westward direction. Observations at King
included 5 Killer Whales and 2 Humpback Whales. During transit in Nelson's
Passage, 1000's of Chinstrap Penguins were observed foraging in a tidal
upwelling zone, along with dozens of Humpback Whales, and 5 Minke
8. Scientific party aboard
SWFSC, chief scientist
C. Reiss, SWFSC, oceanography,
V. Loeb, MLML, zooplankton
K. Dietrich, SWFSC, zooplankton
R. Driscoll, SWFSC, zooplankton
T. Reddy, Stanford, zooplankton
STS, oceanography, ET support, inshore survey
M. Van Den Berg, STS,
oceanography, ET support, small boats
N. Rojas, SIO, phytoplankton
S. Sessions, SWFSC, inshore survey,
M. Patterson VIMS, inshore survey
SWFSC, lipid extractions and scat analysis
CUNY, bird and marine mammal observations
SUNY Stony Brook, bird and marine mammal observations
Submitted by Adam Jenkins.