Conjoint Monitoring of the Ocean Bottom offshore Chile Humboldt Organic MattEr Remineralization, Cruise No. SO288, 15.01.2022 – 15.02.2022, Guayaquil (Ecuador) – Valparaiso (Chile) COMBO & HOMER.

Kopp, Heidrun and all Cruise Participants (2022) Conjoint Monitoring of the Ocean Bottom offshore Chile Humboldt Organic MattEr Remineralization, Cruise No. SO288, 15.01.2022 – 15.02.2022, Guayaquil (Ecuador) – Valparaiso (Chile) COMBO & HOMER. Open Access . SONNE-Berichte, SO288 . Begutachtungspanel Forschungsschiffe, Bonn, 47 pp. DOI 10.3289/CR_SO288.

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Cruise SO288 served two scientific projects. The main objective of the COMBO project was the recovery of three seafloor geodetic networks of the GeoSEA array which were installed on the continental margin and outer rise offshore Iquique in northern Chileduring RV SONNE cruise SO244. This work was flanked by additional seismic and bathymetric surveys to characterize the sub-seafloor structure. The South American subduction system around 21°S has last ruptured in an earthquake in 1877 and wasidentified as a seismic gap prior to the 2014 Iquique earthquake (Mw=8.1). The southern portion of the segment remains unbroken by a recent earthquake and is currently in the latest stage of the interseismic phase of the seismic cycle. The seafloor geodetic measurements of the GeoSEA array provide a way to monitor crustal deformation at high resolution comparable to the satellite-based GPS technique upon which terrestrial geodesy is largely based. The GeoSEA array consists of autonomous seafloor transponders installed on 4 m high tripods. The transponders within an array intercommunicate via acoustic signals for a period of up to three years. Recovery of the GeoSEA array using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV KIEL6000) required dedicated dives in the three network locations on the middle and lower continental slope (AREA1 and AREA3, respectively) and the outer rise of the Nazca plate (AREA2). All 23 GeoSEA transponders were successfully recovered and showed an 100% uptime during the monitoring period.The GeoSEA survey represents the first seafloor geodetic transect across a subduction zone, spanning from the oceanic outer rise to the lower and middle slope of the continental upper plate.

The second project, HOMER, focused on biogeochemical and microbiological processes that affect carbon cycling of the Humboldt Current System off Northern Chile down to the deep ocean. For this purpose, water samples were collected for the detailed chemical characterization of organic matter and the activity of microorganisms. The work was complemented by onboard incubations of microbial populations from deep waters with naturally occurring organic matter.Cruise SO288 was the first expedition of RV SONNE back to the Pacific Ocean starting from a South American port during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite strict safety and health requirements prior to boarding RV SONNE in Guayaquil, several members of the scientific and ship’s crew tested positive to COVID-19 two days after we left port. Containment measures were immediately put to action, flanked by a tight testing regime. Ten days after leaving Guayaquil, we were able to break the chains of infection and the scientific working program commenced.

Document Type: Report (Cruise Report)
Funder compliance: BMBF:03F0658I ; BMBF:03G0288NA ; BMBF:03G0288NB
Additional Information: GEOMAR, UChile, UdeC, Uni Wien, CAU, Uni Stuttgart
Keywords: RV Sonne, SO288, cruise report, COMBO, HOMER, GeoSEA Array
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Publisher: Begutachtungspanel Forschungsschiffe
Projects: COMBO, HOMER, GeoSEA
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2022 09:57
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2022 12:28

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