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Deployment: AT15-44

Chief Scientist: 
Lisa A. Levin (University of California-San Diego, UCSD-SIO)
Platform Type:
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Pacific, off Costa Rica

Cruise Objective: We will conduct research in exposed carbonate ecosystems on the Costa Rica margin (700-1,400 m), to test hypotheses about the influence of active seepage on carbonate rock animal communities and their successional phases, on microbial activity including anerobic methane oxidation and sulfide oxidation, on carbon isotopic composition of shelled organisms, and on phylogenetic affinities of animals. To test hypotheses we will sample existing authigenic carbonates from 3 levels of seepage activity: highly active, weak and inactive. Activity level will be defined by presence of /or proximity to bubbles/shimmering water, microbial mat development and megafauna, as well as previous fluid flow and composition measurements made at the Costa Rica study sites. We will sample 5 to 8 locations with each activity level in each study region, controlling for rock size and carbonate configuration when possible.

ALVIN: During 3 dives at each of 4 study sites we will conduct bottom surveys and video transects, measure S, T, O2, select 4 to 8 highly active, weakly active and inactive sites, photograph organisms and classify rocks in situ, collect rocks of varying sizes with organisms, and sample nearby sediments and biotic substrata (mussels, tube worms) for taxonomic comparisons. The remaining 2 dives at Costa Rica seeps will be used to conduct follow-up survey and sampling of the most promising locations, based on shipboard sample observations. Nighttime operations will consist of CTD casts (a minimum of one each at Mound 11, Mound 13, Jaco Scarp and Mound Quepos), multicoring (adjacent to mounds and at 400 m and 600 m sites in the OMZ), and pre-dive seabeam surveys.

Cruise information and original data are available from the NSF R2R data catalog.