Installing the Ocean Twilight Zone Observation Network

Mission Overview

In this short cruise, the OTZ team installed the first instruments of the new Ocean Twilight Zone Observation Network—a group of heavily-instrumented moorings in the northwest Atlantic. Once complete, the network will continuously monitor the twilight zone over an area of roughly 250,000 square kilometers (155,300 square miles), providing scientific data continuously over months or years.

On this mission, the team deployed and tested three key components of the network—two acoustic sound-source moorings (which will act as beacons for mobile instruments to determine their position in the future), and one additional mooring that holds bioacoustic sensors and sediment traps to capture sinking particulate material. While at sea, OTZ scientists also collected environmental DNA samples from seawater at a variety of depths.

All of the data gathered during the cruise will be used to close critical scientific gaps in knowledge of the Northwest Atlantic's twilight zone—including its biomass, animal distribution, biodiversity, life histories, food web structure, and biological/physical processes that impact carbon transport.

 

WHOI postdoctoral scholar Wokil Bam (Café Thorium Lab) and Bosun Pete Lariarkos begin to unstrap the surface float that will mark the location of the sediment traps being deployed amid the ocean twilight zone.
WHOI postdoctoral scholar Wokil Bam (Café Thorium Lab) and Bosun Pete Lariarkos begin to unstrap the surface float that will mark the location of the sediment traps being deployed amid the ocean twilight zone.

Quick Facts

DatesJuly 19-28, 2021
LocationNorthwest Atlantic
ShipR/V Neil Armstrong
Chief ScientistsSimon Thorrold and Andone Lavery
Scientific ObjectivesInstall and test new OTZ observation network buoys
Examine distribution of biomass near buoy sites
Survey marine snow in the area
Collect environmental DNA
TechnologyObservation Network acoustic sound sources, bioacoustic sensors, sediment traps

Multimedia