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RRS James Cook JC247

Cruise summary report

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)RRS James Cook (740H)
Cruise identifierJC247
Cruise period2023-05-05 — 2023-05-22
StatusCompleted
Port of departureSouthampton, United Kingdom
Port of returnSouthampton, United Kingdom
PurposeResearch
ObjectivesThe aims of RRS James Cook Cruise 247 (JC247) were to study multidecadal change in the NE Atlantic by continuing long-term observations at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) and Whittard Canyon. Both sites are part of the Natural Environment Research Council's Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS) project (https://projects.noc.ac.uk/class-project/sustained-ocean-observations), managed by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
Research at PAP-SO aims to use time-series data on different temporal scales (hours to years) to observe biogeochemical and ecological change at the site. Scientists have been visiting PAP-SO since 1985 to make observations, and the nature of the science has evolved over that time period.

Specific objectives of JC247 were:
Whittard Canyon (Irish EEZ)
- Recovery of Whittard Canyon mooring (sediment trap, ADCPs and CTDs)
- CTD for testing release for new mooring
- Deployment of replacement sediment trap mooring in the Whittard Canyon
PAP-SO (High Seas)
- Recover and replace Met Office surface ocean ODAS buoy equipped with NOC biogeochemistry sensors
- Recover and replace sediment trap mooring
- Deploy and recover baited trap landers (amphipod trap)
- CTD water column profiles and sampling
- Zooplankton nets
- Sediment coring using Megacore
- Scientific trawling for time series
- Deploy 6 Argo floats
- Underway sampling of the surface water

JC247 departed Southampton 5th May 2023 making a first stop at the L4 site off Plymouth the following day. L4 is part of Western Channel Observatory so provides a good location to carry out a CTD cast at a well sampled station for validation of the instruments and nutrient analyser on board. The next stop was at Whittard Canyon in the Irish EEZ. Here a CLASS mooring was turned around that has been operating since 2019. On completion of operations at Whittard Canyon the RRS James Cook steamed onward to PAP-SO where the weather was not initially suitable to work on the large ODAS buoy mooring. The weather did not restrict other operations so the time was used for CTDs, coring and smaller moorings. After several days the ODAS mooring was recovered on the 11th May, temporarily replaced by a guard buoy, then the new buoy deployed on 12th May in favourable conditions. Coring continued by night and moorings, CTDs and Argo floats were done in the day until the 16th May when attentions switched to scientific trawling. Two successful trawls were completed providing data for the PAP-SO time series, PhD students and other projects. A further day of CTDs, baited trap collection and some multi-beam survey of abyssal hills to the south of main focus of PAP research were completed before the RRS James Cook turned to head back toward Southampton on the 19th May, briefly stopping near Falmouth for an exercise with the fast response boat and arriving at NOC early on the 22nd May.
Chief scientistAndrew R Gates (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton)
ProjectMarine LTSS: Climate Linked Atlantic Sector Science (CLASS
Coordinating bodyNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Cruise reportRRS James Cook JC247 cruise report jc247.pdf (15.15 MB) 
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralNorth East Atlantic Ocean (limit 40W)
SpecificWhittard Canyon, Porcupine Abyssal Plain
Track chartsRRS James Cook JC247 cruise track — jc247trk.pdf (0.35 MB) 
Measurements 
Physical oceanography 
CTD stationsQuantity: number of stations = 1
Description: CTD profile and water samples near L4 off Plymouth, UK to validate measurements and act as a test for the rest of the cruise. JC247-001
CTD stationsQuantity: number of stations = 1
Description: CTD profile and water samples at Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ. Primarily to act as a release test for the WC mooring and to validate sensors on the mooring. JC247-002
CTD stationsQuantity: number of stations = 15
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. Sensor measurements for of pressure, salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, plus water samples from some CTDs for chlorophyll, nutrients, oxygen, salinity, DIC & TA. Also for testing of new pH and TA sensors. JC247-004, 008, 017, 018, 031, 036, 038, 042, 046, 048, 054, 055, 057, 058 & 059
Subsurface temperature and salinity measurementsQuantity: activity duration in days = 18
Description: Underway measurements for the duration of the cruise.
Chemical oceanography 
Carbon dioxideQuantity: activity duration in days = 18
Description: Underway measurements for the duration of the cruise.
Biology and fisheries 
ZooplanktonQuantity: number of stations = 6
Description: WP2, plankton nets for zooplankton at PAP, midnight and midday to 200 m
ZoobenthosQuantity: number of hauls = 2
Description: Demersal trawls for collection of megabenthos at PAP
ZoobenthosQuantity: number of stations = 15
Description: Macrobenthos samples collected by Megacorer at PAP
Geology and geophysics 
Multi-beam echosoundingQuantity: track kilometres = 55
Description: Multibeam at PAP-SO
Moorings, landers, buoys 
Physical oceanography 
Current meters48° 59' 10" N  16° 19' 21" W — 10/05/2023 - Deployment of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring. Station JC247-021. Includes 3 x sediment trap, 1 x current meters and 2 x CTD.
Current meters48° 57' 33" N  16° 20' 58" W — 13/05/2023 - Recovery of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring. Station JC231-004, deployed on 10/05/22. Mooring comprises 3 x sediment trap, 1 x current meters and 2 x CTD.
Current profiler (eg ADCP)48° 37' 30" N  10° 0' 11" W — 07/05/2023 - Recovered a mooring with an Anderson sediment trap, 2 ADCPs and in situ CTD at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ. Mooring had no surface expression. Deployed as station JC231-002 on 03/05/2022.
Current profiler (eg ADCP)48° 37' 31" N  10° 0' 10" W — 07/05/2023 – Deployed a mooring with an Anderson sediment trap, 2 ADCPs and in situ CTD at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ. Mooring had no surface expression. Station JC247-003
Other physical oceanographic measurements49° 0' 0" N  16° 30' 2" W — 10/05/2023 – deployment of a pair of biogeochemistry Argo floats. Stations JC247-019 and JC247-020
Other physical oceanographic measurements48° 58' 34" N  16° 22' 19" W — 16/05/2023 – deployment of a pair of APEX Argo floats. Stations JC247-049 and JC247-050
Other physical oceanographic measurements48° 59' 40" N  16° 30' 2" W — 09/05/2023 – deployment of a pair of APEX Argo floats. Stations JC247-010, JC247-011
Chemical oceanography 
Oxygen48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 12/05/2023 – Deployed top part of ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence and a holographic imaging system. Station number JC247-027.
Oxygen49° 0' 0" N  16° 30' 2" W — 10/05/2023 – deployment of a pair of biogeochemistry Argo floats. Stations JC247-019 and JC247-020
Oxygen48° 59' 10" N  16° 19' 21" W — 10/05/2023 - Deployment of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring. Station JC247-021. Includes 3 x sediment trap, 1 x current meters and 2 x CTD.
Oxygen48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 11/05/2023 – Recovered top part of previously deployed ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as JC231-036 (07/05/22)
Carbon dioxide48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 11/05/2023 – Recovered top part of previously deployed ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as JC231-036 (07/05/22)
Carbon dioxide48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 12/05/2023 – Deployed top part of ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence and a holographic imaging system. Station number JC247-027.
Biology and fisheries 
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)49° 0' 0" N  16° 30' 2" W — 10/05/2023 – deployment of a pair of biogeochemistry Argo floats. Stations JC247-019 and JC247-020
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 12/05/2023 – Deployed top part of ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence and a holographic imaging system. Station number JC247-027.
Phytoplankton pigs (eg chlorophyll, fluorescence)48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 11/05/2023 – Recovered top part of previously deployed ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as JC231-036 (07/05/22)
Sediment traps48° 59' 10" N  16° 19' 21" W — 10/05/2023 - Deployment of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring. Station JC247-021. Includes 3 x sediment trap, 1 x current meters and 2 x CTD.
Sediment traps48° 57' 33" N  16° 20' 58" W — 13/05/2023 - Recovery of PAP-SO sediment trap mooring. Station JC231-004, deployed on 10/05/22. Mooring comprises 3 x sediment trap, 1 x current meters and 2 x CTD.
Sediment traps48° 37' 31" N  10° 0' 10" W — 07/05/2023 – Deployed a mooring with an Anderson sediment trap, 2 ADCPs and in situ CTD at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ. Mooring had no surface expression. Station JC247-003
Sediment traps48° 37' 30" N  10° 0' 11" W — 07/05/2023 - Recovered a mooring with an Anderson sediment trap, 2 ADCPs and in situ CTD at the Whittard Canyon in Irish EEZ. Mooring had no surface expression. Deployed as station JC231-002 on 03/05/2022.
Zooplankton48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 12/05/2023 – Deployed top part of ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence and a holographic imaging system. Station number JC247-027.
Zoobenthos49° 0' 24" N  16° 25' 8" W — 17/05/2023 – 48-hour deployment and recovery of a baited trap for collecting amphipods. Station JC247-052
Zoobenthos48° 58' 52" N  16° 22' 1" W — 14/05/2023 – 48-hour deployment and recovery of a baited trap for collecting amphipods. Station JC247-037
Zoobenthos49° 1' 0" N  16° 22' 21" W — 09/05/2023 – 48-hour deployment and recovery of a baited trap for collecting amphipods. Station JC247-012
Meteorology 
Routine standard measurements48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 12/05/2023 – Deployed top part of ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence and a holographic imaging system. Station number JC247-027.
Routine standard measurements48° 57' 41" N  16° 26' 15" W — 11/05/2023 – Recovered top part of previously deployed ODAS buoy mooring PAP-1. Mooring comprises surface Mobilis meteorological buoy and 30m biogeochemistry sensor frame. Biogeochemistry sensors include CO2 in air and water, temperature, salinty, oxygen and chlorophyll flouroescence. Full mooring deployed as DY116-008 (21/11/20), buoy and frame previously deployed as JC231-036 (07/05/22)
Data held at BODC 
Series/Profiles 
1  Multiple instrument types
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.
22016522023-05-12 19:08:17  — 2023-08-31 23:39:17 48° 34' 47" N  16° 15' 25" W  View metadata report for BODC series reference number 2201652
Discrete samples 
17  CTD frame plus rosette sampler
1  Instrument mooring
110  Sample taken from ship's non-toxic supply