Dr Zanna Chase
University of Tasmania
Transit voyage from Hobart to Brisbane to relocate the vessel in preparation for IN2018_V03. During the transit, various research and training projects will be undertaken, including a project to quantify the physical, biological and chemical gradients associated with warm-core and cold-core eddies of the East Australian Current (EAC).
Eddies, circular currents in the ocean, play an important role in structuring the surface velocity of the southern EAC. They also transport heat and salt southward, and impact on the delivery of nutrients to the ocean's surface. This affects the production and distribution of phytoplankton. This voyage will allow scientists to examine the interaction between velocity, nutrients, phytoplankton and zooplankton of eddies.
The voyage is also being used as an opportunity to train students from the University of Tasmania in oceanographic methods.
There is one piggyback project on this voyage:
- Environmental influence at sea surface temperature measurements (Minglung Yang, Ocean University of China/Helen Beggs, Bureau of Meteorology): Project to study of sky radiance and surface roughness effect on ISAR Sea Surface Temperature (SST) measurements.
As a result of this voyage, researchers have a better understanding of the interactions between the physical, chemical and biological properties of eddies in the EAC. The vertical distribution of heat, salt, nutrients and phytoplankton biomass was mapped in three warm-core eddies and one cold-core eddy.
This voyage provided invaluable hands-on training in oceanography for the next generation of marine researchers. Data collected on this voyage will be used in more in-depth research projects at Honours and Masters level allowing students to further their research skills in oceanography.
Of note, ocean sampling during the voyage identified microplastic particles in all samples examined, with the highest concentration closest to Sydney. Five Argo floats were also deployed during the voyage as part of Australia's contribution to international monitoring programs.