On Sunday 24 July the Royal Research Ship James Cook will head out from Falmouth into the deep Northeast Atlantic on a research expedition to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP).
The PAP site is the longest running deep-ocean time-series observatory in Europe, and is an important component of the EuroSITES and OceanSITES international networks of deep-water reference stations. The work plan for the cruise includes:
- Servicing the PAP Sustained Observatory system, a complex array of sensors that monitor a wide range of ocean conditions.
- Carrying out a wide-ranging survey of the seafloor wildlife of the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (water depth 4850m, 3-miles deep).
- Studying human impacts in the deep sea - the effects of bottom-trawl fisheries. This work will be carried out in the Porcupine Seabight.
The cruise will include a staff and equipment exchange in Cork, and is expected to finish, back in Falmouth, on 29 August. You can follow the progress of the team on board the Cook in the daily expedition blog.
NOC deep-sea biology group: www.noc.soton.ac.uk/obe/PROJECTS/DEEPSEAS
PAP Sustained Observatory: https://projects.noc.ac.uk/pap