Mission Plan

Steve W. Ross
Research Professor
UNC-W, Center for Marine Science

Sandra Brooke
Director of Coral Conservation
Marine Conservation Institute

Cruise Period: 15 August - 1 October 2012

        Leg I - 15-31 Aug 2012
            1 Sep – in port, Norfolk, NOAA Marine Center
            2 Sep – in port, Norfolk
        Leg II 3-14 Sep 2012
            15 Sep – in port, Norfolk, NOAA Marine Center
            16 Sep – in port, Norfolk
        Leg III 17-1 Oct 2012

This 2012 mission using the NOAA vessel Nancy Foster will originate and end in Charleston, SC, but will be broken into three legs, with port days between legs in Norfolk, VA.  All work days will be 24 hour operations, and transits will be minimized.  During the day we will use the ROV Kraken II (Univ. Conn) for 12-hour ROV surveys and sampling. At night we will conduct non-ROV sampling, including box coring, bottom and mid-water trawling, deployment of four benthic landers and two moorings, multibeam mapping, CTD and water sampling (using CTD with niskin rosette).  Education and outreach activities will be incorporated into the cruise, using NOAA, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, USGS and other institutional websites. Work in Legs I and II will emphasize biological objectives in Baltimore Canyon, with some sampling in Norfolk Canyon en route to and from the port in Norfolk.  Leg III will focus on archaeological targets in and around the Norfolk Canyon area, with some emphasis on biological objectives.  

At the start of Leg I, we will transit directly from Charleston to Norfolk Canyon, arriving about two days later during a night watch.  We will deploy two Netherlands landers and one USGS mooring in this area.  We should complete this task by morning for a near full day ROV dive in Norfolk Canyon.  After the ROV dive, we will transit to Baltimore Canyon where our first activity will be to deploy one USGS mooring and one UNCW lander.  After this, we will conduct daily ROV dives and night time coring, trawling and CTD work for the next 11 days in and around Baltimore Canyon.  Bottom coring and CTD transects will be emphasized at night during this leg.  As we end Leg I and steam toward Norfolk, we will spend one day and night conducting ROV and other operations in Norfolk Canyon.  The two days in port will be occupied with changing the science crew, loading and unloading various samples and equipment and some rest periods.  Leg II will begin by transiting to directly to Baltimore Canyon where we will conduct daily ROV dives and night operations for the next eight days.  Night operations in this leg will emphasize bottom trawling or use of our benthic skimmer.  Next we again move to Norfolk Canyon where we will spend two days of typical ROV and night operations.  After this we, transit to Norfolk for the end of Leg II.  As before, the days in port will consist of rest periods, gear repairs, crew changes, and reorganization of gear and samples.  Leg III will conduct all work in and around Norfolk Canyon, focusing on daily ROV dives to document and sample shipwrecks.  Night activities will consist of multibeam sonar mapping, CTD casts, coring and trawling.  On the return trip to Charleston, we hope to use an “extra” day to conduct an ROV dive off Cape Lookout, NC to rescue a stranded benthic lander which contains valuable instruments and data.  The cruise will end as it began in Charleston.  



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