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Cruise Summary Report - MEDWAVES survey (MEDiterranean out flow WAter and Vulnerable EcosystemS)

Orejas, Covadonga; Addamo, Anna; Alvarez, Marta; Aparicio, Alberto; Alcoverro, Daniel; Arnaud-Haond, Sophie; Bilan, Meri; Boavida, Joana; Cainzos, Veronica; Calderon, Ruben; Cambeiro, Peregrino; Castano, Monica; Fox, Alan; Gallardo, Marina; Gori, Andrea; Guitierrez, Christina; Henry, Lea-Anne; Hermida, Miriam; Jimenez, Juan Antonio; Lopez-Jurado, Jose Luis; Lozano, Pablo; Mateo-Ramirez, Angel; Mateu, Guillem; Matoso, Jose Luis; Mendez, Carlos; Morillas, Ana; Movilla, Juancho; Olariaga, Alejandro; Paredes, Manuel; Pelayo, Victor; Pineiro, Safo; Rakka, Maria; Ramirez, Teodoro; Ramos, Manuela; Reis, Jesus; Rivera, Jesus; Romero, Alberto; Rueda, Jose Luis; Salvador, Toni; Sampaio, Iris; Sanchez, Hector; Santiago, Rocio; Serrano, Alberto; Taranto, Gerald; Urra, Javier; Velez-Belchi, Pedro; Viladrich, Nuria; Zein, Martha

The MEDWAVES (MEDiterranean out flow WAter and Vulnerable EcosystemS) cruise targeted areas under the potential influence of the MOW within the Mediterranean and Atlantic realms. These include seamounts where Cold-water corals (CWCs) have been reported but that are still poorly known, and which may act as essential “stepping stones” connecting fauna of seamounts in the Mediterranean with those of the continental shelf of Portugal, the Azores and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. During MEDWAVES sampling has been conducted in two of the case studies of ATLAS: Case study 7 (Gulf of Cádiz-Strait of Gibraltar-Alboran Sea) and Case
study 8 (Azores). 

The initially targeted areas in the Atlantic were: the Gazul Mud volcano, in the Gulf of Cádiz (GoC) area, included in the case study 7, and the Atlantic seamounts Ormonde (Portuguese shelf) and Formigas (by Azores), both part of the case study 8. In the Mediterranean the targeted areas were The Guadiaro submarine canyon and the Seco de los Olivos (also known as Chella Bank) seamount. Unfortunately it was not possible to sample in Guadiaro due to time constraints originated by adverse meteorological conditions which obligate us to reduce the time at sea focusing only in 4 of the 5 initially planned areas.

MEDWAVES was structured in two legs; the first leg took place from the 21st September (departure from Cádiz harbour in Spain) to the 13th October 2016 (arrival in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal took place the 8th of October due to the meteorological conditions that obligated to conclude the first leg earlier as planned). during the Leg 1 sampling was carried out in Gazul, Ormonde and Formigas. The second leg started the 14th October (departure from Ponta Delgada) and finished the 26th October (arrival in Málaga harbour, Spain). MEDWAVES had a total of 30 effective sampling days, being 6 days not operative due to the adverse meteorological conditions experienced during the first leg which forced us to stay in Ponta Delgada from the 08th to the 13th October. 

During MEDWAVES the daily routine followed a similar scheme, depending of course on the weather and sea conditions. The main activity during the day, starting early in the morning (around 08:00 AM, once the night activities were finished), was the ROV deployment. Generally a single ROV dive of around 8 hours was performed, however in several occasions two dives were carried out in the same day (see General station list, Appendix II). After the ROV (and sometimes between two dives) the Box Corer and/or Van Veen Grab and/or Multicore was deployed. After these activities, during the night CTD-Rosette deployments and MB was conducted. Accordingly to this schema the scientific personnel worked in the day or in the night watch. 

A total of 215 sampling stations have been covered in MEDWAVES, using the following sampling gears: Multibeam echosounder, CTD-Rosette, LADCP, Box Corer, Van Veen Grab, Multicorer and a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Table 1 sumamrised the number of sampling stations conducted with each gear in each sampling zone. Additionally MB surveys have been conducted during the transits between areas.

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