It was a long trip yesterday from Naples back to station #19; this took most of the day. Our first real work started after dinner at 8:30 PM. All researchers were on deck, as the CTD was downcast to 3,300 meters. While we waited, there was another squid show; they were back in full force, about a dozen of them attracted to our spotlight. Finally around
midnight, Lionel Guidi dropped the zooplankton nets to 200 meters. It is always interesting to see what will turn up. It was going to be a long night and early morning for some, as station #20 was scheduled for 4:00 AM. They would be using the CTD, Photosonde, the multi-corer, and the box corer, all at the 3,000m level. When I arrived on deck around 8:00 AM, Ilearned that Mirko’s multi-corer failed to come up with the sediment once again. But he told me later that once again, it did not touch the bottom, even after they let it sink a further 20 meters.
|Things are wrapping up, Alessandra Savini is collecting data from the various groups, and Massimo De Luca is starting to pack up samples, but not before I receive my own "personalized" petri dishes, with glowing bacteria, that together "say" CIESM SUB 1, a drawing of the Universitatis, and also my name ! ... great souvenirs of a trip which I can’t wait to show to my colleagues. It has been a great experience for me to share these days with such dedicated researchers, and I look forward to post soon on the CIESM website the photos and maps that I have not been able to send during the cruise.
Christian Setting Up Hi Pressure Cylinders
During a break in our day I had the chance to catch up with Professor Giorgio Budillon, the Head of CIESM SUB 1 cruise. I asked him how he thought the cruise had gone?
GB: The cruise has gone in a fantastic way, people from different countries, and colleagues of mine have had an exciting experience. Tomorrow we will be back in Naples, and the cruise will be finished. However, following some preliminary analysis, we already have some initial ideas about the data which we collected on board. We have definitely got some good data, some important data, and we hope to have more conclusive results in the next few weeks [these will be posted on this website].
Q. Will you be meeting with everyone soon to go over the results?
GB: We are planning to have a meeting at the end of the summer when all the analyses will be completed, so that we may compare and discuss our results.
Q. Of all the data what stands out most in your mind as most important or interesting?
GB: As I am a Physical Oceanographer, my interest is focused on the physical aspect of the Tyrrhenian Sea. So far we have confirmed a salting and warming in the deep layers of the sea, also a new dynamic pattern on the surface waters. Both of these aspects are interesting. I also think that we will find interesting things in the biological system,
as a consequence.
Q. What has been the most challenging aspect of your work?
GB: Actually it has been a really easy cruise, because everyone has been working very hard. I am the head of the cruise and It has been very easy for me to organize and manage this campaign. I can say that each group
on board has much experience, and so really does not need a lot of organization. They know what to do, and they just do it, in an easy manner.
I think that the most challenging thing now will be to help organize the next CIESM cruise in December and continuing the activities during the next year. I hope that CIESM will continue to support this kind of activity in the future. I believe that it is an excellent opportunity for Mediterranean marine sciences and that CIESM is in the best position to do it.
Q. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job?
GB: We have collected certain data for the first time in the Tyrrhenian Sea. When we used the CTD downcasts, all the data were standardized, as they were collected at the same time and the same level. This was a very
important aspect of our work. Also one of our colleagues from France has taken water samples using high pressure containers, and will analyze these samples, maintaining the same ‘in situ’ pressure. This has been a very
important task because it is the first time this kind of sampling has taken place in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Q. How did you choose the stations that we would be sampling?
GB: This is a really good question, because when we decided the position of the stations we refered to our previous knowledge of the Tyrrhenian Sea. I decided to put some stations in critical areas from a dynamic point of
view. But at the same time we have to look very closely at the bathymetry, since the currents in the deep layer follow the bathymetry of the sea, which in this area is not well known everywhere. So it was quite hard to define the
Q. Are you pleased with the overall results?
GB: I am really, really happy and excited and look forward to analyzing and processing the data. I am equally happy to have time now to carefully examine all the data sets in depth. Also I am very pleased about your presence on board, because it allows us to extend and give an idea of our activities to everyone, especially to people who are not usually involved in oceanographic research. This is very important.
Well that is all for now, I am Siri Campbell reporting from the CIESM SUB 1 cruise.
"Mission accomplie": G.Budillon (standing, 3rd from right) with a happy scientific team
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