The BATS 25th Anniversary Cruise

From October 18-25, 2013, a group of scientists and technicians were at sea aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer on a very special Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) research cruise marking the program’s 25th year. Like many anniversary celebrations, this one involved cake (more on that in a bit!) but—unlike most celebrations—it also involved a variety of oceanographic science.

During this cruise, samples were collected for multiple research projects including:

  • Routine visits to the BATS site and Hydrostation S for collection of hydrographic, chemical, and biological parameters from the water column. Information from these samples will be added to the 25 years of data that comprise the BATS time-series. The cruise also made additional visits to spatial stations for sampling with CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) profilers. Data from the spatial stations help oceanographers gain insight into the numerous eddies that characterize the ocean around the BATS site.
  • Research being conducted by Meg Estapa, Postdoctoral Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, investigating the potential application of transmissometers as optical sediment traps on neutrally buoyant floats. You can learn more about her research in this article from the October 2013 issue of Currents.
  • William Halliday, BIOS Bermuda Program Intern for Dr. Kristen Buck, was on the cruise to collect sediment samples for an NSF project being conducted by Dr. Buck in collaboration with Seth John at the University of South Carolina. This research, prompted by results from the North Atlantic cruise of the GEOTRACES project, will continue the development of isotope fractionation—the partial separation of isotopes of the same element through chemical or physical processes—as a tool for understanding the processes of iron cycling in the ocean.

To mark the momentous occasion, Greg and Dexter whipped up a homemade triple layer chocolate and vanilla cake, complete with chocolate chips, fresh strawberries, and ice cream—the highlight of the cruise for many on board! After the brief sugar-laden interlude, everyone quickly returned to work knowing how valuable days at sea are to their respective research projects.