Deployment: AT26-15

Chief Scientist: 
Cindy Van Dover (Duke University)
Platform Type:
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Gulf of Mexico

Start: Depart Gulfport, MS 05/21/2014
End:  Arrive St. Petersburg, FL 06/14/2014

The AT26-15 cruise was conducted as part of the project "Connectivity in western Atlantic seep populations: Oceanographic and life-history processes underlying genetic structure" (SeepC) funded by NSF OCE-1031050. The cruise included coordinated deployments of DSV Alvin and AUV Sentry.

Science objectives (from the WHOI Cruise Planning Synopsis):
The primary objective of the SeepC Project is to advance our general knowledge of connectivity in the deep sea using taxa found at seeps as model systems. The focus is on species and processes occurring in the Intra-American Sea (including the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and eastern seaboard of the US), with attention to oceanographic circulation, life histories, and genetics.

Our efforts include improving the oceanographic model for the IAS near the seabed using current data from moorings at several depths and locations and coupling this model to a Lagrangian larval transport model. We stress the importance of iterative interactions among the science teams to advance our understanding of connectivity in the deep sea through descriptive and hypothesis-driven research. We will develop effective and best methods for hypothesis testing under the constraints of working in a relatively inaccessible environment and will build capacity in understanding connectivity in deep-sea systems.