Marine Geophysics and Hydroacoustics

MSM 82_2 Morphology of the headwall area of the Sahara slide, NW-Africa

Summary – MSM82/2 April 26th to May 14th, 2019 Montevideo (Uruguay) – Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain)

Three different proposals were realized in the frame of the cruise MSM82/2. Proposal 1 ‘Morphology of the headwall area of the Sahara Slide, NW-Africa’ from University of Kiel seeks a morphological characterization of the entire headwall area of the Sahara Slide. The importance of submarine landslides for society, economy, and ecology is increasingly being recognized by a large number of scientific disciplines and industries. Submarine landslides present a significant geohazard due to their potential to destroy offshore infrastructure and to trigger significant tsunamis. More  The NW-African continental margin is well-known for the occurrence of very large but infrequent landslides. Several cruises have addressed sediment dynamics of the NW-African continental margin but detailed hydroacoustic mapping of landslide headwall areas has hardly been carried out. Such mapping, however, is critical for the analysis of submarine landslides as the morphology of the headwall documents failure dynamics and failure volumes, which are the most important parameters for assessing the tsunami potential of submarine landslides. Proposal 2 under the label MOOR (Measuring Over Ocean References) from Max-Planck Institut addresses different aspects. During the cruise, atmospheric properties of aerosol, clouds and trace-gases will be collected. Reference data coverage over oceans is sparse. The data will serve as (1) calibration data for satellite remote sensing retrievals and (2) and as evaluation data for (global) modeling. Atmospheric measurements are enhanced by in-situ samples with a huge balloon-kite by testing a new system, the so-called CloudKite. Proposal 3 ‘Mapping sequences to protists morphospecies from the Atlantic’ (University of Cologne) will study the biodiversity of pelagic protists in an area, which has not been investigated extensively yet. The aim is to isolate as many different protist species along the transect, cultivate them and study them back home regarding their morphology, molecular biology and autecology to contribute valuable data on protist diversity. With this data the interpretation of NGS (next-generation-sequencing) data will be improved and our understanding on the diversity and spatial separation of the protist fauna in the South and North Atlantic will be extended.

Contact person: Sebastian Krastel

Hydroacoustic team from University of Kiel:

Sebastian Krastel

Kai-Frederik Lenz

Annelie Düring

Maximilian Cremanns