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Project details

Title: A coupled bio-physical, ecosystem-scale, examination of Australia’s International Indian Ocean Expedition line
Id: 2480
Investigator(s): Lynnath Beckley
Murdoch University [details]

Description: This multi-disciplinary voyage will study the coupling of physical, biogeochemical and ecological processes in the pelagic ecosystem of the SE Indian Ocean along the 110oE line at stations originally occupied by Australia during the first International Indian Ocean Expedition in 1962/63. This voyage is part of Australia’s contribution to the second International Indian Ocean Expedition (2015-2020). The objectives of this voyage are: 1) Quantification of multi-decadal, ecosystem-scale change from the 1960s benchmark in the physical, chemical and biological properties of the water column along 110oE; 2) Characterization of the physical and biological sources of nitrogen to the region and their impacts on regional biogeochemistry and ecology; 3) Determination of trophic relationships between nitrogen-fuelled primary production and zooplankton, including the larvae of mesopelagic fishes; 4) Relating field information on phytoplankton community composition, primary production and carbon export to bio-optical quantities derivable from satellite ocean colour radiometry.
Years: 2019


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Voyage Report



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List of surveys that this project was on.

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Survey InvestigatorDescription

Lynnath Beckley (Murdoch University) RV Investigator research voyage in2019_v03, titled “A coupled bio-physical, ecosystem-scale, examination of Australia’s International Indian Ocean Expedition line.” The voyage will take place in the SE Indian Ocean along 110°E between 39°30’S and 11°30’S and, to meet the scientific objectives, a wide range of activities will be conducted. Essentially, on station activities can be classified into CTD deployments with associated water sampling, zooplankton sampling with a range of nets and profiling for optical properties and radiometry (Table 2). Several laboratory and on-deck incubation activities will be conducted and deployment of a Continuous Plankton Recorder, micro-zooplankton profiler, Vertical Microstructure Profiler VMP200, ARGO floats, surface drifters and sonobuoys will also take place. The Triaxus with instrumentation will be towed on the return leg back to Fremantle. CTD sampling and the vertical hauls with an Indian Ocean Standard Net (IOSN) are the priority tasks at all stations. After this, in the day time, the optical properties work will be a priority and, at night, plankton sampling with the various nets is the priority. When we were preparing this voyage plan it became apparent that the in-water optics deployments (PI Antoine; objective 4) would take much longer than originally expected. This would result in a considerable reduction of time available to transit between stations so much so that we would not be able to maintain the two stations per day that were done in the original 1960’s 110°E voyages. We subsequently prepared a revised voyage plan and each of the 20 stations on the 110°E line is now occupied for around 16 hours instead of 4 hours. For this voyage, on each station we now plan to complete a morning deep CTD (water for Thompson, Antoine, Ostrowski and Seymour teams) and vertical zooplankton haul with the Indian Ocean Standard Net. This will be followed by the optics measurements in the early afternoon and, in the evening, an EZ net tow, assorted plankton and neuston tows and a shallow CTD to obtain water for experiments and incubations (Raes and Landry). As there will be some time available in the afternoon after the optics measurements, we plan to conduct additional day-time EZ net and plankton tows, vertical microstructure profiling and other sampling that would benefit from day/night comparisons. The final temporal arrangement of these late afternoon activities will be subject to time availability, sea conditions and might change to maximize efficiency. However, the evening surface neuston tows must start promptly at 18:00. This revised plan has no difference from the original voyage proposal with respect to distance travelled by the ship. If we encounter bad weather along the 110°E line, we could wait until it clears using the two-day contingency period. However, if bad weather occurs at the southern-most stations along the 110°E line, the long-term marine weather forecast would have to be considered, as it may be wiser to proceed northwards and skip a station.
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