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by Nicole Morejon

April, 10th 2012

3:45: The students gathered on the gate of the university to get on the bus heading to Bremerhaven.
5:00: Students got to the Heincke cruise. They had a very short introduction to the rules of the boat and the facilities. The main facilities that were used by the students were the dry lab and the wet lab.
5:30: Students gathered together to have breakfast.
6:00: There was a safety drill performed. All the students where gathered on deck by a very loud alarm and the crew of the boat explained the students the safety measures in case of emergency.
6:20: All the Students gathered in the dry lab and they selected the tasks that they wanted to perform during the next two days. Table 2.1 shows the groups and their assignments:



Nicole Morejon


Marius Boehm, Maria Kenttamies, Alexandra Rios, Andreea Marinica


Jannes Koelling


Louise Heinrich, Sophie Paul, Katharina Schier

Multinet Water and Plankton Sampling

Phillip Hennessy, Kerst Mattner, Katharina Wortberg

Sediment and Sampling

Manuela Romero

Marine Magnetics

7:00am: Instructor Gerd Rohard explained to the students the functions and the structure of the CTD and the SVP. The CDT measures the conductivity and the temperature at different depths. The SVP is a smaller sensor that is attached to the CTD that measures the velocity of the sound at different depths. The students also worked and set up the CTD.

08:30: Professor Bijma gave a lecture on the history of Helgoland and Dune.

09:00: Professor Unnithan explained about the Multibeam and how it worked. He gave a lecture on the functions and the difficulties of the Multibeam. The objective of the Multibeam use was to understand better the depths of the areas surrounding Helgoland, and to have a better look to certain ridges of sand formed near the island of Dune. Out of the navigation file, a GMT script is created and it gives a graph showing the navigation. A bad sample is usually jumpy and not very smooth. The graphs that are accurate show the depth of the sea floor.

09:30: Lunch

10:00: The temperature throughout the day ranged between 7 and 8 degrees celcius. The winds were strong from the south-west and the velocity ranged between 12 and 21 mph.

10:35: CTD was put on the water.
10:37: CTD reached its maximum depth.
10:42: CTD is on the deck again. The first samples were supposed to be four bottles, but one of the caps got stuck so there were only three samples. These samples are from three different random depths. The samples are collected in three different bottles that had been rinsed in sea water before.

11:01: Sediments were picked up by the box core. These sediments are analyzed in order to find out the composition. (Silty or sandy) The sediment is very coarse grained.

12:00: The weather conditions got worse and we had some drizzle and very strong winds. With all the movement it was very difficult for the students to work and stay focused.

12:19: Second set of samples from the CTD are collected.

13:21: Third set of samples from the CTD are collected.

13:57: Fourth set of samples from the CTD are collected.

All these CTD samples have been collected from different locations and at different depths.

14:00: CTD samples are put in one of the fridges in order to keep them in good conditions for the rest of the analysis.

14:40: The students went to the captain's deck and Professor Rossi talked about the Multibeam. He let some of the students to work with the computers there and experiment with the functions of the Multibeam.

15:00: Dinner

April, 11th 2012

05:00: Students are on board and gather to have breakfast.

06:00: The weather conditions look better than yesterday. We have 7.3 degrees Celcius, sunshine and slow winds. The measures for the CTD did not work accurately yesterday, so now the group is checking the calibration standards in order to see what the mistake was.

07:00: The box core went into the water and brought back very muddy and dark sediments. These were rich in iron oxide which give the dark color. This sample contains a lot of small animals like brittle starfish.

07:09: The Gravity core went into the water. This device takes a sample of 5 meters of sediments in a plastic tube. This tube is cut into 5 different pieces that are 1 meter long. This way, from each sample from the sample core we get 5 different samples. There is a small syringe in which the samples from the lower most point of each meter-long sample are taken. These samples are put into a small bottle with a mixture that is used to get the methane concentrations of the sediments. Then, the bigger samples are used in order to get pore water samples. Small syringes are connected into the tubes and the pore water comes out very slowly.

08:05: Mini Core is put in the water. The mini core collects smaller samples of sediments, but it is easier since it does not have to be cut into smaller pieces, like in the gravity core. In order to get the samples from the mini core, a platform is used, in which it is possible to obtain 'slices' of the sample that are 1cm thick. These are put into small glass bowls.

08:18: Gravity core samples are taken again.

08:30: CTD group is working on data from the SVP on excel in order to compare them with the results from the CTD.

09:03: start of Multibeam profile.

10:30: Lunch

10:20: For the maritime magnetics they use a magnetometer. This magnetometer records changes in the magnetic field. This device permits them to find shipwrecks and it is also tied to a GPS signal. The problem with this device is that it does not work well if it is too close to the ship because the magnetic field shows the ship instead of underwater objects.

10:50: Lecture on Carbon cycle.

11:29: end of Multibeam profile.

12:10: Jannes is working with the Multibeam. He makes different graphs and plots

12:12: Gravity core samples are taken.

12:27: CTD samples are taken.

12:39: The MSN was put into the water. With this net it is possible to get water samples at different depths. The samples were gathered from different depths in intervals of 5 meters. These can be analyzed with a microscope. The task of the group was to define the types of organisms and to count them. Also, they have to analyze the kinds of plankton found in the water.

12:48: Another set of samples from the Gravity Core are collected.

13:58: Multibeam profile starts.

15:00: Dinner

15:16: Multibeam profile ends.

April, 12th, 2012

05:00: Students gather in the ship and have breakfast. Today is the last day of this student group on the ship. The conditions of today are more cloudy. The temperature is 6.8 degrees celcius. The winds are also slow today, ranging between 5 and 8 mph.

06:43: CTD samples are taken from the water.

07:00: Magnetometer profile start

07:28: End of magnetometer profile.

08:00: The Magnetometer was not successful yesterday. It spent around 2 hours in the water, but it did not retrieve any data. This error happens when the speed is low and the magnetometer gets close to the ship.

09:00: A couple of tours were made to the engine rooms. There had to be some tours because the room is pretty small and not all the students fit at the same time.

09:30: The Sediments were still being analyzed. The pore water is collected from the tubes and put into the syringes.

10:30: Lunch

12:00: Wrap-up Session.