Expedition POS527 gets underway

The Poseidon 527 cruise to the Goldeneye region in the North Sea forms an important component of the STEMM-CCS project.

Mobilisation and departure
Cruise POS 527 mobilised in Kiel on August 14, 2018. The participants travelled from Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK), National Oceanography Centre Southampton (UK), MPI Marine Microbiology (Bremen Germany), Develogic GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) and GEOMAR (Kiel, Germany). We have a total of 11 participants and all were looking forward to a couple of weeks at sea on the RV Poseidon.

We sailed in the morning of August 15 with very calm weather in the Baltic Sea. We passed Danish islands and sailed under high bridges whilst the sun was setting and the moon rising. In the Skagerrak and the North Sea the wind and waves were a little more demanding for some of the cruise participants. Not all were able to eat their dinners and had to retreat to their bunks. Getting sea legs always takes a couple of days.

Arrival and start of work
We arrived at the Goldeneye site at 0730 h on August 18 and commenced with locating the NOC Develogic lander. The wind was ca. 6 Bf, with significant wave action, which made it challenging to operate.
The poor weather conditions only allowed us to undertake a CTD cast (station 1) and no Box corer work or lander deployment could be undertaken. We had to wait for better weather.

In the period between dinner and breakfast the next day, we undertook multi-beam surveys to improve our bathymetry maps. Our multi-beam operator (Catherine Wardell) has been doing an excellent job at enhancing the quality and coverage of the multibeam data around Goldeneye.

Good weather arrives
August 19 and 20 are providing us with excellent weather and calm seas. We are making great progress and have sofar conducted 4 CTD casts, deployed the MPI lander that measures sediment-water fluxes of oxygen and inorganic carbon. In addition, the benthic biologists (Saskia Ruhl and Thomas Mesher) have been handling a dozen box cores sofar. The speed of their operations is impressive. The crew of the Poseidon has been facilitating all this with excellent support.

Above, left: Work on the MPI lander for benthic flux measurements. Above right: deployment of MPI lander. Photos by Allison Schaap.

Above left: The sensors suite on MPI lander, ready to make benthic flux measurements. Above right: deployment of box corer for collection of sediment samples and benthic ecology samples. Photos by Allison Schaap.
Next on the list of things to do is the retrieval of the MPI lander. In our next blog we will report on this!

Eric Achterberg, Chief Scientist

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