The cruise is due to depart from Southampton, UK on 19th May 2018 and return to Southampton, UK on 12th June 2018. It is part of a long-term monitoring programme that conducts time-series measurements at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) Site and involves an annual cruise to the Site to turn around the moorings and conduct water-column and benthic sampling. The PAP sustained observatory has been the focus of repeated study of the entire water column and seabed since 1989. It is at an open ocean location with water depth of 4800m and is thought to be influenced little by the adjacent continental shelves and the mid Atlantic ridge. It is subject to less vigorous hydrographic influence than many open ocean sites and as such processes occurring in the euphotic zone exert a direct influence on the underlying water and seabed. The observatory comprises a variety of sensors which make meteorological, biogeochemical and physical measurements on the properties of the lower atmosphere, the water column and the seabed, some of the data being transmitted every few hours to shore via satellite. This provides data on the time varying properties of the location but in addition to this they provide the temporal context for ship based research cruises. Find out more about the PAP Site programme here: http://projects.noc.ac.uk/pap/.
Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) Cruise Fellowship 2018
On this occasion the student will join the benthic team on board, but will nevertheless be able to experience the full range of activities that are involved in the servicing of the Observatory as a whole. With the benthic team, the student will receive specific training and experience in deep-sea floor (4850 m) coring and trawling, and the necessary subsequent sample processing, curation and metadata generation. In addition, the student will also gain experience in handling biological samples generated by the use of free-fall systems (short-term baited amphipod traps, and long-term colonisation substrata). This year the service cruise will also include a significant component of remote observation of the seafloor using the deep-tow camera platform HyBIS (http://noc.ac.uk/facilities/marine-autonomous-robotic-systems/deep-platforms), and the student will join the scientific support for the camera operations, receiving training in live camera operations, and the subsequent processing and archiving of image data.
The fellow will participate in the ship’s mobilisation for a few days prior to the cruise, join the ship in Southampton and participate in the cruise, receiving one-to-one training in deep-sea trawling and coring, biological sampling and deep-tow camera operations. The fellow will also participate in the ship’s demobilisation back in Southampton at the end of the cruise. The student will be expected to contribute fully to the formal reporting of the benthic team’s operations during the cruise, as will be published as an NOC Cruise Report (see e.g. PAP 2017, https://www.bodc.ac.uk/resources/inventories/cruise_inventory/reports/dy077.pdf).
How to apply
Applications are now closed for this fellowship.