RRS James Cook JC124
Cruise summary report
|Ship name (ship code)||RRS James Cook (740H)|
|Cruise period||2015-08-09 — 2015-08-13|
|Port of departure||Southampton, United Kingdom|
|Port of return||Southampton, United Kingdom|
|Objectives||JC124-125-126 focussed on the Whittard Canyon, south-west of Ireland and the UK.Submarine canyons are the main transport pathways between the shelf and the deep sea, and are often considered biodiversity hotspots. Their irregular topography provides different niches for a large variety in faunal communities. However, studying these communities and the underlying processes is a major challenge. Whittard Canyon has several sections with near-vertical or overhanging walls. Using the ROV Isis and AUV Autosub6000, we were be able to obtain a correct picture of these environments in true 3D.
The aims of the cruise were:
- To carry out further habitat mapping at different resolutions in Whittard Canyon, to increase understanding of the system and to test the predictive habitat models built within CODEMAP using data from 2009
- To test and apply sideways multibeam mapping, in order to develop a true 3D habitat model of the canyon
- To revisit key habitats in the canyon in order to establish potential changes over the last 6 years.
- To measure the water column structure in the Eastern Branch of Whittard Canyon, to allow the inclusion of oceanographic parameters in the predictive habitat models.
Besides the overall CODEMAP aspect, there were two additional short sections to this expedition. JC124 comprised 3 days at the start of the cruise, and 2 days later on, aimed at collecting seabed data for the UK Government (DEFRA, JNCC and CEFAS) in the rMCZ 'Haig Fras' and 'The Canyons'. Also for this work we used the AUV and ROV - the Canyons are located directly next to Whittard Canyon. The work there will be integrated with the Whittard Canyon work. JC126 covered 3 days at the end of the cruise, and was aimed at the technical trials of a novel vibrocoring system for the ROV.
NB. Datasets collected are listed on the record for JC125
|Chief scientist||Veerle A Huvenne (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)|
|Project||Compex Deep-sea Environments: Mapping habitat heterogeneity As Proxy for Biodiversity (CODEMAP)|
|Cruise report||(28.15 MB)|
North East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
|Specific||Haig Fras. Whittard Canyon.|