The first biological sampling cruise of the ABYSSLINE program, AB01, took place aboard the R/V Melville (MV1313) from October 3, 2013 – October 27, 2013. The primary ABYSSLINE objective of AB01 was to evaluate biological and environmental baseline conditions in the first targeted a 30x30 km stratum, located in the northern portion of the UK-1 Claim Area, centered approximately at 13º49 N, 116°36 W, in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Sampling depths were 3900-4500m. To accomplish our goals, we collected samples and data at and around 12 stations randomly located within this stratum. Biological, geological, and oceanographic data were collected using a suite of scientific sampling equipment including: a box corer, megacorer, respirometer lander, baited trap, baited camera, Brenke epibenthic sled, CTD, sediment trap mooring and 6000-m rated Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The sediment trap mooring was deployed near the end of the cruise in the center of the study area. Three wood- and bone-colonization packages were also deployed during AB01. Shipboard geophysical systems were used to acquire regional-scale bathymetry. Overall, the cruise was very successful in collecting baseline biological and environmental data in the UK-1 Claim Area.
More pictures from the first ABYSSLINE cruise (AB01) can be seen on Twitter using #ABYSSLINE (https://twitter.com/hashtag/abyssline)
The blog run by the Natural History Museum, London and Uni Research team during AB01 and AB02: http://3682m.tumblr.com/