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RRS James Cook JC231

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)RRS James Cook (740H)
Cruise identifierJC231
Cruise period2022-05-01 — 2022-05-19
StatusCompleted
Port of departureSouthampton, United Kingdom
Port of returnSouthampton, United Kingdom
PurposeResearch
ObjectivesThe aim of the RRS James Cook cruise (JC231) was to service moorings at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) and in the Whittard Canyon. This cruise, including both the operations at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory and within the Whittard Canyon forms part of the UK Natural Environment Research Council's Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science CLASS project (https://projects.noc.ac.uk/class-project/sustained-ocean-observations) that is managed by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

The specific objectives of JC231 were:
Whittard Canyon (Irish EEZ):
1) Recovery of Whittard Canyon mooring (sediment trap, ADCPs and CTDs)
2) CTD for testing release for new mooring
3) Deployment of replacement sediment trap mooring in the Whittard Canyon
PAP-SO (High Seas):
4) Recovery of sediment trap mooring at PAP-SO
5) Recovery of Met Office/NOC mooring with surface buoy
6) Deployment of sediment trap and sensors at PAP-SO
7) Deployment of Met Office buoy with surface ocean biogeochemistry sensors at PAP-SO
8) Deployment (and recovery) of Met Office BGC Argo float
9) Photography of the upper water column using multiple imaging systems
10) Marine snow catcher deployments
11) Megacore, gravity core, and box core sampling of the seabed
12) Otter trawls
13) WP2 zooplankton nets
14) Other associated CTDs at PAP-SO
15) Underway sampling of the surface seawater

The oceanic water column and the underlying seabed change on a variety of temporal and spatial scales. The PAP observatory is in international waters and is the primary objective of the cruise under CLASS (Climate Linked Atlantic Sector) national funding. Also, under CLASS there is a sediment trap mooring in the Whittard canyon. We started our work at Whittard canyon - retrieving and deploying a mooring there.
The objective of the PAP observatory is to provide high temporal resolution (hours) data on an increasing number of variables which are relevant from the perspective of the biology, physics, and chemistry over a relatively small spatial scale (30 km). The site has been under examination since 1985 and during that time, substantial changes have been observed in the benthic and pelagic environments. The intention is to sustain and enhance these observations in order that a deeper understanding is obtained into the processes which operate; in particular the responses to the changes which are currently taking place in the global environment. The objective of the cruise was primarily to service the infrastructure required for continuous sustained observation, and to put these into context using observations from the ship which as yet cannot be carried out autonomously.
In parallel to maintaining and extending existing measurements, the overview was enhanced by parallel research using novel technology (floats, water column imagers and marine snow catchers as well as underway pCO2 measurements). Investigations were carried out using a multi-instrument observational approach combined with direct sampling. In addition, the cruise achieved substantial sampling of the seabed of the PAP and associated abyssal hills, directly by coring, amphipod traps and trawling.
Chief scientistSusan E Hartman (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
ProjectMarine LTSS: Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS)
Cruise reportRRS James Cook JC231 cruise report jc231.pdf (30.23 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificWhittard Canyon and Porcupine Abyssal Plain
Track chartsRRS James Cook JC231 cruise track — jc231trk.pdf (0.40 MB) 
Measurements 
Physical oceanography 
CTD stationsQuantity: number of profiles = 10
Description: Full depth CTD measurements of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA
CTD stationsQuantity: number of stations = 10
Description: CTD profiles at PAP site. Includes release tests for mooring deployments, Argo float validation, PAP1 and PAP3 sensor data validation and water bottle samples. JC231- 03,12,26,47,66,72,83,89,92 and JC231-095
CTD stationsQuantity: number of stations = 1
Description: CTD profile in Irish EEZ. Primarily for release test for Whittard Canyon mooring deployment but sensor data collected and samples to validate the measurements. JC231-001
Subsurface temperature and salinity measurementsQuantity: number of track lines = 1
Description: Underway measurements for the duration of the cruise.
Chemical oceanography 
OxygenQuantity: number of profiles = 10
Description: Full depth CTD measurements of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA
Carbon dioxideQuantity: number of track lines = 1
Description: Underway measurements for the duration of the cruise.
PhosphateQuantity: number of profiles = 10
Description: Full depth CTD measurements of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA
NitrateQuantity: number of profiles = 10
Description: Full depth CTD measurements of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA
SilicateQuantity: number of profiles = 10
Description: Full depth CTD measurements of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA
AlkalinityQuantity: number of profiles = 10
Description: Full depth CTD measurements of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA
Biology and fisheries 
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)Quantity: number of stations = 38
Description: Camera frame and Marine Snow Catchers between 50-600m at PAP
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)Quantity: number of profiles = 10
Description: Full depth CTD measurements of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA
ZooplanktonQuantity: number of stations = 7
Description: WP2, plankton nets for zooplankton at PAP, midnight and midday to 200m
ZooplanktonQuantity: number of stations = 38
Description: Camera frame and Marine Snow Catchers between 50-600m at PAP
ZoobenthosQuantity: number of hauls = 2
Description: Demersal trawls for collection of megabnthos at PAP
ZoobenthosQuantity: number of stations = 10
Description: Megacore macrobenthos samples
Geology and geophysics 
Core - soft bottomQuantity: number of stations = 2
Description: Box core samples (bioturbation studies)
Core - soft bottomQuantity: number of stations = 4
Description: Gravity core, 3 m barrel, (bioturbation studies)
Moorings, landers, buoys 
Physical oceanography 
Current meters48° 59' 36" N  16° 24' 11" W — Recovery of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring on 10/5/22, station DY130-024 that had been deployed on 31/3/21
Current meters48° 56' 55" N  16° 19' 53" W — Deployment of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring, on 4/5/22 station JC231-004. Includes 3 x sediment trap, 1 x current meters and 2 x CTD.
Current profiler (eg ADCP)48° 37' 36" N  10° 0' 18" W — Recovered a mooring that includes sediment trap, ADCP and in situ CTD sensor at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ. Deployed 29th March 2021, station number DY130-018 Mooring had no surface expression
Current profiler (eg ADCP)48° 37' 30" N  10° 0' 11" W — Deployed a mooring that includes sediment trap, ADCP and in situ CTD sensor at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ 3/5/22 Station number JC231-002. Mooring has no surface expression.
Chemical oceanography 
Oxygen48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — Deployed top part of PAP1 mooring that includes surface Met sensors and CO2 and oceanographic sensors on keel (CTD, Chlorophyll fluorescence, CO, O2) and added a sub-surface 30m frame of BGC sensors. Deployed on 7/5/22 as JC231-036
Oxygen49° 0' 17" N  16° 30' 7" W — Deployment (and recovery due to a fault in a sensor) of Biogeochemistry Argo Float. JC231-048
Oxygen48° 57' 33" N  16° 26' 14" W — Recovered top part of previously deployed PAP mooring on 5/5/22 - surface Mobilis buoy and 30m frame. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as DY130-038 (3/4/21)
Carbon dioxide48° 57' 33" N  16° 26' 14" W — Recovered top part of previously deployed PAP mooring on 5/5/22 - surface Mobilis buoy and 30m frame. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as DY130-038 (3/4/21)
Carbon dioxide48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — Deployed top part of PAP1 mooring that includes surface Met sensors and CO2 and oceanographic sensors on keel (CTD, Chlorophyll fluorescence, CO, O2) and added a sub-surface 30m frame of BGC sensors. Deployed on 7/5/22 as JC231-036
Biology and fisheries 
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)49° 0' 17" N  16° 30' 7" W — Deployment (and recovery due to a fault in a sensor) of Biogeochemistry Argo Float. JC231-048
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)48° 57' 33" N  16° 26' 14" W — Recovered top part of previously deployed PAP mooring on 5/5/22 - surface Mobilis buoy and 30m frame. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as DY130-038 (3/4/21)
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — Deployed top part of PAP1 mooring that includes surface Met sensors and CO2 and oceanographic sensors on keel (CTD, Chlorophyll fluorescence, CO, O2) and added a sub-surface 30m frame of BGC sensors. Deployed on 7/5/22 as JC231-036
Sediment traps48° 56' 55" N  16° 19' 53" W — Deployment of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring, on 4/5/22 station JC231-004. Includes 3 x sediment trap, 1 x current meters and 2 x CTD.
Sediment traps48° 59' 36" N  16° 24' 11" W — Recovery of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring on 10/5/22, station DY130-024 that had been deployed on 31/3/21
Sediment traps48° 37' 30" N  10° 0' 11" W — Deployed a mooring that includes sediment trap, ADCP and in situ CTD sensor at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ 3/5/22 Station number JC231-002. Mooring has no surface expression.
Sediment traps48° 37' 36" N  10° 0' 18" W — Recovered a mooring that includes sediment trap, ADCP and in situ CTD sensor at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ. Deployed 29th March 2021, station number DY130-018 Mooring had no surface expression
Zoobenthos48° 57' 16" N  16° 29' 2" W — Deployment of an Amphipod trap frame at PAP that we have not been able to recover
Meteorology 
Routine standard measurements48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — Deployed top part of PAP1 mooring that includes surface Met sensors and CO2 and oceanographic sensors on keel (CTD, Chlorophyll fluorescence, CO, O2) and added a sub-surface 30m frame of BGC sensors. Deployed on 7/5/22 as JC231-036
Routine standard measurements48° 57' 33" N  16° 26' 14" W — Recovered top part of previously deployed PAP mooring on 5/5/22 - surface Mobilis buoy and 30m frame. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as DY130-038 (3/4/21)
Data held at BODC Get data
Series/Profiles 
22  Bottle station
Reference numbers
Nitrite concentration parameters in the water column
Vertical spatial coordinates
Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column
Phosphate concentration parameters in the water column
Silicate concentration parameters in the water column
Nitrate concentration parameters in the water column
Quality control flags
Reference numbers
Nitrite concentration parameters in the water column
Vertical spatial coordinates
Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column
Phosphate concentration parameters in the water column
Silicate concentration parameters in the water column
Nitrate concentration parameters in the water column
Quality control flags

BODC idDate/TimeLocationDoc.
21534942022-05-05 07:43 48° 57' 22" N  16° 23' 59" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153494
21536172022-05-05 07:43 48° 57' 22" N  16° 23' 59" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153617
21534702022-05-02 19:16 48° 33' 14" N  9° 55' 44" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153470
21535492022-05-13 14:20 49° 0' 28" N  16° 28' 46" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153549
21535622022-05-14 20:40:30 48° 58' 24" N  16° 27' 13" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153562
21535502022-05-14 16:39 48° 58' 25" N  16° 28' 5" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153550
21535982022-05-02 19:16 48° 33' 14" N  9° 55' 44" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153598
21536422022-05-10 16:29:30 48° 59' 53" N  16° 26' 59" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153642
21537092022-05-15 10:43 48° 59' 59" N  16° 30' 0" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153709
21535012022-05-06 12:34:30 49° 0' 0" N  16° 30' 0" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153501
21535372022-05-11 10:17:30 48° 56' 51" N  16° 28' 24" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153537
21535742022-05-15 10:43 48° 59' 59" N  16° 30' 0" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153574
21536662022-05-13 14:20 49° 0' 28" N  16° 28' 46" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153666
21536912022-05-14 20:40:30 48° 58' 24" N  16° 27' 13" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153691
21536052022-05-04 12:17:30 48° 58' 1" N  16° 21' 26" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153605
21535252022-05-10 16:29:30 48° 59' 53" N  16° 26' 59" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153525
21536302022-05-08 14:20 49° 0' 19" N  16° 30' 5" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153630
21536542022-05-11 10:17:30 48° 56' 51" N  16° 28' 24" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153654
21536782022-05-14 16:39 48° 58' 25" N  16° 28' 5" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153678
21535132022-05-08 14:20 49° 0' 19" N  16° 30' 5" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153513
21536292022-05-06 12:34:30 49° 0' 0" N  16° 30' 0" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153629
21534822022-05-04 12:17:30 48° 58' 1" N  16° 21' 26" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153482
2  Dissolved oxygen sensor
Reference numbers
Date and time
Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column
Temperature of the water column
Reference numbers
Date and time
Dissolved oxygen parameters in the water column
Temperature of the water column

BODC idDate/TimeLocationDoc.
22011782022-05-07 11:14:02  — 2023-05-10 23:45:48 48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2201178
22018612022-05-07 11:14:01  — 2022-06-28 21:44:51 49° 0' 0" N  16° 30' 0" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2201861
1  In-situ pH sensor
Reference numbers
Date and time
Alkalinity, acidity and pH of the water column
Reference numbers
Date and time
Alkalinity, acidity and pH of the water column

BODC idDate/TimeLocationDoc.
22016642022-05-07 10:07:01  — 2023-05-11 10:07:01 48° 34' 48" N  16° 15' 24" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2201664
2  Pumped water sample
Horizontal spatial co-ordinates
Date and time
Nitrite concentration parameters in the water column
Phosphate concentration parameters in the water column
Silicate concentration parameters in the water column
Nitrate concentration parameters in the water column
Chlorophyll pigment concentrations in water bodies
Horizontal spatial co-ordinates
Date and time
Nitrite concentration parameters in the water column
Phosphate concentration parameters in the water column
Silicate concentration parameters in the water column
Nitrate concentration parameters in the water column
Chlorophyll pigment concentrations in water bodies

BODC idDate/TimeLocationDoc.
21534692022-05-04 06:56  — 2022-05-16 10:35 48° 42' 27" N  17° 7' 23" W — 49° 9' 39" N  15° 33' 52" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153469
21535862022-05-03 15:03  — 2022-05-14 07:10 48° 42' 4" N  17° 7' 23" W — 48° 59' 28" N  11° 16' 44" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2153586
1  radiometers
Reference numbers
Visible waveband radiance and irradiance measurements in the atmosphere
Date and time
Reference numbers
Visible waveband radiance and irradiance measurements in the atmosphere
Date and time

BODC idDate/TimeLocationDoc.
22012222022-05-07 13:17:05  — 2023-05-10 22:19:29 48° 58' 10" N  8° 16' 41" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2201222
Discrete samples 
11  CTD frame plus rosette sampler
2  Instrument mooring
36  Sample taken from ship's non-toxic supply