statement: The U.S. Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (U.S. SO
GLOBEC) Program is in its second and final field year. The focus of this study
is on the biology and physics of a region of the continental shelf to the west
of the Antarctic Peninsula that extends from the northern
tip of AdelaideIsland
to the southern portion of AlexanderIsland
and includes MargueriteBay.
The overall goal is to elucidate shelf circulation processes and their effect
on sea ice formation and Antarctic krill distribution, and to examine the
factors that govern krill survivorship and availability to higher trophic
levels, including seals, penguins, and whales.
This is the second of two joint
cruises. The first occurred in April-May and this, the second cruise that is
occurring from 29 July – 19 September
2002 onboard the RVIB N.B.
Palmer, which is carrying out a broad scale survey, and the ARSV L.M. Gould, is conducting
process-oriented studies. The goal of the process cruise aboard the ARSV L.M. Gould is to provide a more detailed
examination of the biological and physical processes that are occurring in this
region that can be put into the shelf-wide context supplied by the broad scale
survey being carried out at the same time on the RVIB N.B. Palmer.
b. Projects represented on the
BG-232-0 Costa/Burns/Crocker:Foraging Ecology of Crabeater seals
BG-234-0 Fraser:Winter Foraging Ecology of Adélie Penguins
BG-235-0 Fritsen:Sea Ice
OG-241-0 Smith/Martinson/Perovich: Optical Environment of the Western Antarctic
Winter Ecology of Larval Krill: Quantifying their interaction with the Pack Ice
c.Cruise overview to date
Given that the arrival of a
number of key pieces of equipment (SCUBA tanks, baggage, snowshoes) the
departure of the L.M. Gould was
delayed until .With Pilot aboard, the L.M. Gould departed Punta Arenas
53º 10.164′ 70º 54.999′ just after
local time (LT) on 29 July 2002
to begin the U.S. SO GLOBEC Process IV cruise. The skies were overcast but
winds were light.Shortly after leaving
port, we had our first ship orientation and safety meeting with 3nd Mate Alan Arrigoni and MPC
Karl Newyear at .
The goal of this meeting was to ensure that all on board were prepared for unexpected
emergencies.This included getting into
our survival suits, getting into the lifeboats and a general review of ships
safety and procedures.
The second day we steamed along
the eastern coast of Argentina
and cleared the Strait of La
Maire and the entrance
to the Drake Passage around . At 10:00 MST Mo Hodgins
carried out a chemical safety meeting in the Hydrolab.
We had our first fire drill at
today, with an excellent response, with all members of the scientific party
having responded within 3 minutes. Once in the lounge 2nd Mate Jay Bouzigard and MPC Karl Newyear discussed
fire safety issues. Later this evening ()
we had a scientific orientation led by Daniel Costa, where the general goals of
the program were discussed including the specific logistics that will be required
during the cruise. The weather was overcast and cool visibility was
limited.We exited the sheltered waters
of the Straits of Magellan and the east coast of Tierra del Fuego, and encountered significantly more ship
motion than previously experienced in the sheltered waters of the straits or in
the lee of Tierra del Fuego.
As we entered the Drake the seas picked up slightly and the ship increased its
roll.However, the ride was not bad and
the seas were better than we had expected. Once we reached the Drake
Passage an XBT survey was initiated starting at LT (54º 56.1′ 64º 57.4′).This survey is being carried out for Dr.
Janet Sprintall of the Scripps Institution of
Oceanography (OO-260) who is interested in the dynamics of the Polar Front. XBTs were launched approximately every 10 minutes of
latitude during the crossing.Our regular
schedule of radio communications was initiated with Palmer Station today at . Our first iceberg was sighted near 57º
20′S. We expect to see pack ice within the next 24 hours or so.
The L.M. Gould (LMG) continued across the Drake Passage
towards Palmer Station via the inside passage route. We continued the XBT
transect across the Drake.The LMG stood
by for one hour to adjust ballast. Over the course of the evening 1 Georgian
Diving Petrel and 3 Kerguelean Petrels were found to have
landed on the bridge.It is common for
petrels to be attracted to the ships lights and crash into the bridge. After id
we moved these birds to afterdeck where they could more easily fly. Our first
XCTD was released at LT (56º 1′
64º 38.9′). During the evening MTs Jenny White
and Sparky Weisblatt deployed one of two NOAA Technoccean global drifters at 59º 02.3′ 63º 40.1′.
One of the MTs received an injury to a finger while
deploying a buoy. We anticipate arrival at Palmer Station on the morning of 3
The L.M. Gould continued across the Drake Passage,
which treated us reasonably well, though with a fair bit of rolling due to beam
seas. Andy Nunn and ShonnaDovel
with Karl Newyear supervising deployed the second NOAA
Technoccean global drifter. MST Mo Hodgins carried out a Radiation Safety briefing with the
two programs that will be using rads at . Ice observations were initiated at and will continue until we leave ice. Ice
(shuga and grease) was first observed at and 8/10 pancake and brash ice was
observed at at 59º 49.9′S
The LMG passed between Smith and SnowIslands at the end of the
"central" route across the Drake Passage. This
crossing took a few hours longer than normal due to unusual amounts of ice as
far north at 60ºS. Penguins were observed on a floe at .Preparations
were made to capture the birds for stomach sampling, but they retreated to the
water before we could put a Zodiac in the water.We finished the XBT transect for Janet Sprintall this morning at
local time () at 62º 42′.
As we passed through the pack ice we have seen a many sub-adult and adult male
Antarctic fur seals.
We saw a large group (10-20
individuals) that porpoise off together at
(64º 34′S 61º 26.7′W).Later
on we saw our first leopard seal of the trip at 63º 43.1′S 61º 20.26′W.Much of the day has been spent preparing for
our stop at Palmer Station. We plan on arriving tomorrow morning around , conducting cargo operations, and spending
the night before heading toward CrystalSound on Sunday morning.
We arrived at Palmer Station at LT. Cargo offload began shortly thereafter
and continued well into the afternoon.There was very little science preparation to do as the Bio Lab was being
renovated.Almost all preparations
(sample weighing, etc.) had taken place in Punta Arena prior to departure. Many
individuals enjoyed the walk up the glacier behind Palmer Station. Quetin's group took advantage of open water in the channel
next to the ship to carry out a series of practice SCUBA dives.In the early afternoon the ice opened up so
that the seabird group attempted a tour of PalmerSound to look for Penguins and
Seals. However, they were only able to get as far as ChristineIsland before the wind changed
forcing them to return, as the pack ice was moving back towards Palmer Station.
Many of the ship's party enriched the coffers of the Palmer Store, purchasing
souvenirs and other items.Palmer
Station extended their hospitality with an all-hands pizza
feed that started at .The pizza was excellent, as was the party
that followed.It was a nice diversion
as we prepare for the intense period of science that awaits us.
The L.M. Gould departed Palmer Station at
and began steaming towards the SO GLOBEC Matha Strait
to initiate the predator studies. We had open water for the first few hours and
at hours we carried out a full
CTD cast at 65º 06.045′S 65º 08.06′W to test the rigging and
electronics.This location also
coincided with the first appearance of a significant ice edge since departing
Palmer Station.As we went south offshore
of the BiscoeIslands
we sighted a Weddell seal, a Gentoo Penguin and a
crabeater seal were observed on a workable ice floe at 65º 11′S 65º 23.7′W.We attempted to get into position to work
with the seal, but it went into the water. We are currently proceeding to PendletonStrait where we should arrive by
morning. We will proceed along the eastern side of Lavoisier
Island to continue looking for Adélie penguins and crabeater seals en route to Matha Strait where we will rendezvous with the NBP sometime