Vessel RV Maria S. Merian
Cruise No MSM61
Date 18/02/2017 - 27/02/2017
Route Mindelo (CPV) - Las Palmas (ESP)
Study Area CVOO / Senghor Seamount
Involved projects  
Chief Scientist Dr. Björn Fiedler


RV Maria S. Merian - MSM61

The expedition MSMS61 operated off West Africa at the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory (CVOO) time series station as well as at the Senghor Seamount, northeast of Cape Verde islands. Scientific objectives were:


  • Investigating temporal variability and long-term changes of physical and biogeochemical parameters off West Africa by contributing and extending the CVOO time series data set.
  • Determining variability of diversity and abundance of predators and prey (micronekton and zooplankton) and their linkage to biogeochemical and hydrographic/currents variability at the seamount crest and flanks?
  • How does the seamount topography affects near-field biogeochemistry of the surface ocean and upper water column and how does it relate to net community production (e.g., induced by local upwelling or eddies)?
  • Is the Senghor Seamount interacting with the tidal currents and which types of circulation pattern occur (incl. retention)?


The work program was divided into 3 components:


(A) A full-depth biogeochemical sampling at the CVOO time series site

(B) Deployment of an autonomous and modular ecosystem observatory at Senghor seamount

(C) Ship-borne hydrographic and video sections across the seamount

MOSES modules applied and tested during this cruise:

WaveGlider Winched Profiling CTD


At the CVOO time series station a CTD rosette sampler survey including a biogeochemical sampling was carried out – further extending the time series data set. Moreover, horizontal camera transects were acquired at different depth to estimate the mesozooplankton distribution at the site. At the Senghor Seamount, mobile and moored observatories have been installed that will acquire physical, biogeochemical and ecosystem relevant data even beyond MSM61. The data will be used for investigations on basic physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystem processes at tropical seamounts and in particular their role in shaping the local biodiversity.

The observatory consists of a stationary bottom lander at the edge of the summit for long term recordings. Furthermore, a coordinated swarm of two Wave Gliders (surface incl. acoustic profiling, 0 – 100 m) and an electric glider (water column, 0 - 1000 m) were operated at Senghor Seamount.

CTD rosette measurements and ship-ADCP surveys were conducted in order to resolve hydrography, biogeochemistry and circulation around the seamount. Video transects were done in order to record the mesozooplankton distribution at different areas of the seamount and multinets were deployed for taxonomic studies.

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