Live from the North Sea: POS527 Extending our environmental baseline in the North Sea

15 August – 3 September 2018

The STEMM-CCS cruise programme is once again full steam ahead, with Principal Scientist Eric Achterberg (GEOMAR) leading the team aboard the German research vessel RV Poseidon to extend the project’s baseline studies at the Goldeneye experimental site in the North Sea.

Having departed from Kiel in mid-August, the ship and its crew will spend just under 3 weeks carrying out detailed environmental measurements that will provide information on the background conditions in the region, against which to monitor for CO2 emissions during the STEMM-CCS controlled CO2 release experiment in spring 2019.

Objectives of cruise POS527 are:

  1. Pre-define and measure sensitive and robustly measurable environmental background variables which provide an indication for subsea CO2 leakage;
  2. Provide water column measurements of trace gases, nutrients and carbonate chemistry variables to assess baseline conditions in the study region. Collect under natural (baseline) conditions a geochemical porewater dataset to provide a quantitative, process-based interpretation of porewater and benthic fluxes using a state-of-the-art numerical model.  This baseline data will be used for comparison with measurements taken during the controlled CO2 release experiment in the same area in spring 2019;
  3. Undertake benthic ecology baseline measurements, to compare against conditions with perturbations from the controlled CO2 release experiment;
  4. Test novel chemical sensors, and hydroacoustic detection systems for measuring benthic and pelagic carbon fluxes (i.e. by using lab-on-a-chip technology, optodes, eddy co-variance techniques for O2 and pH, 3D-visual bubble imaging, and (multibeam) echosounder quantification).
  5. Retrieve, service and re-deploy the project’s benthic lander, including downloading of data from sensor measurements over the last 12 months, and cleaning and refurbishing sensors before redeployment of lander for near-seafloor measurements over the coming year.

The team are sending regular updates from the ship as the cruise progresses – click on the links in the top right menu to read the latest news.