About the Cruise

The DeepDOM cruise aims to take a uniquely detailed and integrated look at the chemistry and biology of the western Atlantic Ocean in order to gain a better understanding of three critical ocean characteristics:
  • Diversity and function of organic matter and biological communities across the ocean depths and over a wide latitude 
  • Interactions between surface- and deep-ocean processes
  • Movement of water and organic material from land to the ocean and among large oceanic water masses
The team that has been assembled on shore and at sea represents a wide range of chemical and biological oceanographic expertise. The primary goal of the cruise is examination of dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition in the deepwater masses along the cruise route. These measurements will be integrated with a broad look at microbial diversity and ecological function, including the metabolic activities of bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic grazers and phototrophs. This interdisciplinary group is led by WHOI’s Liz Kujawinski and Krista Longnecker, with substantial contributions from Ben Van Mooy, Rachel Stanley, and Mak Saito (WHOI) as well as Sonya Dyhrman (Columbia Univ.), Carol Arnosti (Univ. of North Carolina), Ginger Armbrust (Univ. of Washington), Alyson Santoro (Horn Point Laboratory), Ann Pearson (Harvard Univ.), Steven Hallam (Univ. of British Columbia), Ian Hewson (Cornell Univ.) and Rainer Lohmann (Univ. of Rhode Island).

Along the nearly 5,000-mile transect aboard R/V Knorr from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Bridgetown, Barbados, the cruise will cross and sample the plume of the Amazon River and three large oceanic water masses: the North Atlantic Deep Water, Antarctic Bottom Water, and Antarctic Intermediate Water. Ultimately, the team hopes to assemble an integrated, biochemical picture of how carbon cycles from the surface to depths (and throughout the depths). The information they provide will help form the foundation for future predictive capabilities of processes that are important to life in the ocean, to the planetary climate system, and to the cycling of carbon and nutrients from land and within the ocean.