SCMSS Scientists Return from NW Spain

Monday, September 15, 2014 to Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How a regional hydrodynamic regime interacts with the local topography on a continental shelf and slope has strong control on the diversification of the sedimentary elements in such system. The challenge is to distinguish between the individual effects of geostrophic currents, storm wave action, bottom flow intensities, internal wave trains, etc. which all might find an expression in the sedimentary system.  The aim of the recent MARUM-GALIOMAR cruise with the German research vessel METEOR was to address these questions in a study area off of NW Spain, with focus on the mid-shelf mud depocenter and on a succession of morphological ledges on the uppermost continental slope. We deployed a variety of instruments including: A tripod mooring was installed two times for 4 days each to monitor the bottom flow and suspension characteristics; Water column acoustics, particle camera and water sampling provided detailed insight into the water-column structure and composition; high-res seafloor mapping, six ROV deployments, and sediment surface sampling and coring allowed for a comparison of the modern hydrodynamic system with the long-term depositional and erosional trends. Of the 19 scientific team members from nine different nations and with experts in oceanography, sediment dynamics and numerical modelling, Till Hanebuth (chief scientist), Paul Gayes and Aundrea Dolan participated for the School of Coastal and Marine Systems Science.