MV Terschelling Tersch2001

Cruise plan

Cruise Info. 
Ship name (ship code)MV Terschelling (PATE)
Cruise identifierTersch2001
Cruise period2001-05-18 — 2001-05-26
Port of departurePlymouth, United Kingdom
Port of returnPlymouth, United Kingdom
ObjectivesThe main object of the project was to use Autosub to deploy a novel submersible flow cytometer in order to obtain information on the distribution and optical characteristics of microscopic particles in the marine environment. It was hoped to use Autosub to precisely position the flow cytometer and to obtain sections through water masses with different characteristic particle assemblages. However, during the revision of the science plan requested by the steering committee, the opportunity was taken to expand the range of measurements to be carried out so that the cytometric particle analysis could be placed in a well-defined optical context.
The Isles of Scilly were chosen as the cruise location because of the regular occurrence of phytoplankton blooms in early summer and their proximity to a front which forms between the thermally stratified water of the continental shelf and the tidally-mixed water of the Irish Sea. As it happened, satellite imagery showed that no well-developed front existed at the time of the cruise. However we found a dense bloom consisting of a mixture of Phaeocystis and large diatoms around the Isles of Scilly, and a second, coccolithophorid-dominated bloom approximately 5 miles to the south. We were therefore able to send Autosub through areas of strikingly different particle composition, and expect to be able to demonstrate all the features of in-situ particle analysis which were discussed in the original proposal. The fact that we also obtained a comprehensive set of measurements of inherent and apparent optical properties, particle analyses, and airborne and satellite remote sensing for a coccolith bloom was an unexpected but very fruitful scientific bonus.
Chief scientistAlex Cunningham (University of Strathclyde, Department of Physics)
Ocean/sea areas 
GeneralCeltic Sea
SpecificIsles of Scilly