Research voyages 2017

Voyage #, date & ports

Voyage summary 

IN2017_E01

7-8 January 2017

Hobart to Hobart

MNF equipment sea trials

The voyage comprised predominantly CTD system trials in preparation for future voyages, with other opportunistic function testing.

Plan

IN2017_V01

13 January-6 March 2017

Hobart to Hobart

Interactions of the Totten Glacier with the Southern Ocean through multiple glacial cycles (Chief Scientist: Dr Leanne Armand, Macquarie University)

The Totten Glacier is a large outlet glacier in East Antarctica which is thinning rapidly. It drains a very deep subglacial basin, which has the thickest ice in Antarctica. This rapid thinning could cause accelerated melting of the Ice Sheet. This survey will study how the Totten Glacier behaved during past times of warming climate by examining the sediment it delivered to the continental slope. These deposits will help understand the role of ocean warming in melting the ice sheet. The survey will also be the first sea floor habitat mapping campaign in a new Marine Protected Area.

Plan

Summary

Scientific highlights

IN2017_V02

15-30 March 2017

Hobart to Hobart

Integrated Monitoring Observing System Time Series automated moorings for climate and carbon cycle studies southwest of Tasmania (Chief Scientist: Professor Tom Trull, ACE-CRC)

The Southern Ocean Time Series provides world-leading automated observations from deep-ocean moorings of the exchanges of heat, water, carbon dioxide, and oxygen between the ocean and atmosphere, and the physical and biological processes that control them. These results contribute to forward projections of anthropogenic climate warming, inform the setting of emissions targets, illuminate controls on climate variability, and provide a baseline for impacts on ocean pelagic ecology.  Sensor data is returned live to the internet and samples are returned annually for further study in shore laboratories.

Plan

Summary

Scientific highlights

IN2017_E02

31 March-2 April 2017

Hobart to Hobart

MNF equipment sea trials

The voyage comprised system trials in preparation for future voyages, with other opportunistic function testing.

Plan

IN2017_C01

10-28 April 2017

Hobart to Hobart

Great Australian Bight deep water geological and benthic ecology program (Chief Scientist: Dr Andrew Ross, CSIRO)

The Ceduna sub-basin is the product of rifting followed by the subsequent Southern Ocean seafloor spreading between Australia and Antarctica. The rifting created a narrow seaway between Australia and Antarctica, which was initially filled by two large deltaic super sequences (represented by the Tiger and Hammerhead super sequences respectively). Decreased sediment supply followed this period, during which commencement of fast seafloor spreading led to the initiation of widespread igneous activity and the development of a large number of volcanoes across the basin. Subsequent low sedimentation rates combined with continued subsidence have created the current modern deep water Ceduna sub-basin geomorphology. 

Plan

Summary

Scientific highlights

IN2017_C02

4-15 May 2017

Hobart to Hobart

Hogan Group, Bass Strait hydrographic survey

To gain an understanding of the nature of the marine environment in the survey area and to collect meteorological and oceanographic data in the area to contribute to current modelling systems. Additionally, this information will benefit the management of the Commonwealth Marine Reserve at Hogan Island.

Plan

Summary

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IN2017_V03

16 May-16 June 2017

Hobart to Brisbane

Sampling the abyss: latitudinal biodiversity patterns along the base of Australia’s eastern continental margin (Chief Scientist: Dr Tim O'Hara, Victoria Museum)

The project will discover the fauna of Australia’s abyssal seafloor, down to four kilometres under the sea surface.  Never before has an Australian expedition focused on the biodiversity of our vast abyssal environment. With an international team, we will survey from Fraser Island to Tasmania, including seven marine reserves, investigating the changes in species and genetic composition that occur with latitude and depth. We will take images and measurements of many species for the first time. We will detect sources of food for these communities. The project will form an important baseline study against which we can measure future changes.

Plan

Summary

Scientific highlights

IN2017_E03

20-23 August 2017

MNF sea trials
To manage safe operations in testing new / modified equipment.

Plan

IN2017_V04

31 August-
18 September 2017

Brisbane to Sydney

The whole enchilada: from production to predation in Tasman Sea ecosystems (Chief Scientist: Professor Iain Suthers, UNSW)

Zooplankton include the microscopic animals that link the ocean’s single-celled algae and our fisheries, but it is a complex link. Huge changes in fish production may result from subtle changes in zooplankton production. The size distribution of zooplankton is a practical way to investigate this problem. This relatively simple size-based ecosystem will be integrated with the much larger sizes of krill, squid and pelagic fish.  For the first time, the links between open ocean production and coastal fisheries of south eastern Australia will be established. This will inform environmental assessments and ecosystem sustainability, including the viability of super-trawlers in Australian waters.

Plan

Summary

Scientific highlights

IN2017_T01

24 September-
8 October 2017

Sydney to Broome

Natural iron fertilisation of oceans around Australia: linking terrestrial dust and bushfires to marine biogeochemistry (Chief Scientist: Dr Andrew Bowie, UTAS)

The application will support research to quantify the importance of iron-rich aerosols from Australia for marine biogeochemistry and ocean ecosystem health. The project will sample and conduct experiments on atmospheric particles containing terrestrial dust and bushfire smoke that are transported from Australia to its surrounding oceans. The application supports the training and research of two postgraduate students from IMAS-UTAS. The outcomes will provide a scientific basis for managing the complex role of iron in sustaining marine ecosystem biodiversity and for informing government policy on ocean fertilisation as a carbon mitigation strategy.

Plan

Summary

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IN2017_V05

11 October-
10 November 2017

Broome to Fremantle

Long-term recovery of trawled marine communities 25 years after the world’s largest adaptive management experiment (Chief Scientist: Dr John Keesing, CSIRO)

The North West Shelf has seen massive reductions in trawling area and effort over past decades from the previous high levels of foreign trawling up until 1990. There remains debate about whether slow growing benthic organisms such as coral and sponges have recovered from this disturbance and whether the current management zoning which has been in place for 20 years and which includes areas closed to fishing, specific areas for trawling and trap is sustainable and effective. The outcomes of the study will have relevance to how trawl fishing is managed in Australia and internationally.

Plan

Summary

Scientific Highlights

IN2017_T02

14-26 November 2017

Fremantle to Hobart

Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea Training Alliance Network (CAPSTAN) (Chief Scientist: A/Prof Jochen Kaempf,
Flinders University)

CAPSTAN is a post-graduate at sea training initiative on RV Investigator. Governed by a network of leading industry and university partners from within marine science and geoscience, CAPSTAN is a first of its kind programme which will transform the way marine science education is delivered for generations to come.

A truly national education initiative, CAPSTAN was designed to develop a national approach to teaching and learning in the marine sciences whilst also providing a platform for institutional, industrial and generational knowledge transfer and collaboration on-board Australia’s principal research vessel, Investigator.

Plan

Summary

Scientific highlights

IN2017_E04

7-13 December 2017

Hobart to Hobart

Calibration, trials and training (Marine National Facility)

Plan

Updated: 05 February 2018