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Summary Information for Field Activity 2011-047-FA

Area of Operations: Gulf of Maine, United States, North America, North Atlantic;

Dates: October 24, 2011 to November 04, 2011

Chief scientist: Brad Butman
Patrick Dickhudt

   Bruce Keafer (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Objectives: Overall objective of cruise is to map distribution of Alexandrium cysts in surficial sediments of western Gulf of Maine (approximately 112 stations). USGS objective is to obtain undisturbed cores using the slow corer and conduct erosion measurements using University of Maryland Gust Erosion Microcosm System (UGEMS) at approximately 10 stations.

Type of Activity: Sampling;

Information to be derived: Grain size analysis;Physical property data;

Summary: This was a 12-day cruise to the Gulf of Maine on RV Oceanus carried out cooperatively by WHOI and the USGS. The primary objective of the WHOI investigators was to map the concentration of red tide cysts in the surficial sediments. Samples of the surficial sediments were obtained at ~100 stations; samples were sieved and preserved for counting of cysts ashore. A subsample was saved for analysis of surficial sediment texture. The primary USGS objective was to measure sediment erodability at selected locations. Replicate cores using the USGS slow corer were obtained at 10 locations and analysis was carried out onboard using UGEMS. Nearly all the planned sampling stations were occuppied. GEMS analysis was carried out on 20 cores (10 stations). A video camera mounted on the slow corer provided very useful insight into core sampling under varing conditions (sea state, lowering rate, sediment texture). We sought refuge from a very intense NE storm in Bar Harbor, ME from the evening of October 29 to the morning of October 31. Waves in Jordan basin reached ~28' during this storm. This was the next to last cruise for WHOI's RV Oceanus, ending her 37-year career at WHOI.

Contact: Brad Butman (

Related Links:

Platform Info:

Publications resulting from these data

Butman, B., Aretxabaleta,A., Dickhudt, P., Dalyander, P.S., Sherwood, C.R., Anderson, D.M., Keafer, B.A., and Signell, R.A.,2013, Investigating the importance of sediment resuspension in Alexandrium fundyense cyst population dynamics in the Gulf of Maine: Deep Sea Research II. (Also available at

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