Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES)
Principal Investigator: Wiese, Francis (3)
Licence Number: 16369
Organization: Stantec Inc.
Licenced Year(s): 2018 2017 2016
Issued: Jul 19, 2018

Objective(s): To collect and describe physical, biological and chemical observations in the Eastern Beaufort Sea from moored and moving platforms; and, to gather water and sediment samples at the mooring locations, and process and analyze these samples to estimate the carbon budget and describe carbon cycling processes.

Project Description: BOEM issued a request that Stantec Inc. plan and execute a program during the 2016 field season to accomplish t the following objectives:
1) to collect physical, biological and chemical observations in the Eastern Beaufort Sea from moored and moving platforms;
2) to describe and analyze physical, biological and chemical observations acquired from the moving platforms; and,
3) to simultaneously with the mooring deployment operation gather water and sediment samples at the mooring locations, and process and analyze these samples to estimate the carbon budget and describe carbon cycling processes.

The field program will be implemented in an integrated way to provide a comprehensive picture of the system as allowable by available resources, focusing on key measurements known to be relevant to ecosystem questions. The field program component includes deployment of four moorings, deployment and recovery of an autonomous glider and carbon cycling measurements.

Stantec will deploy four new ecosystem moorings, which, thanks to close collaboration with the colleagues at University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), will result in a unique six mooring cross shelf array. The moorings were deployed in early October 2016, by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier as part of the integrated Beaufort Observatory (iBO) mooring cruise taking place in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. The current plan is to deploy this October, retrieve and redeploy (all in one cruise) in October 2017, and then retrieve for good in October 2018. The equipment and sensors include a McLane MMP PAR Fluoro Sensor Module (Fluorescence), SBE-37IM CTD (Conductivity, Temperature and Depth), ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers at 300, or 150 and 75 kHz depending on depth), ULS (Upward-Looking Sonar or Ice Profiling Sonar, IPS), and AZFPs (Acoustic Zooplankton Fish Profilers at 38 kHz, and at125, 200, 460 ad 770 kHz), and a PAM (Passive Acoustics Monitor) will be deployed. To achieve robust environmental context, this array will be further supplemented with two SAMI pCO2 sensors (from UAF) and three SUNA nitrate sensors (from WHOI).

The main objectives of the glider program are to 1) map spatial distribution of the Mackenzie plume from the U.S.-Canadian border to the head of the Mackenzie Trough, 2) characterize the along-shelf and cross-shelf structure of the shelf-break jet and shelf water masses in the vicinity of the Mackenzie Trough, 3) quantify the associated biological response to the physical conditions of the water column, and 4) provide an extended geographic sampling regime of key parameters measured by the moorings. To meet these objectives, the team will deploy one lithium battery-powered Slocum glider from the R/V Ukpik (out of Prudhoe Bay) in the eastern Beaufort Sea close to the Canadian border.

The glider will be picked up by the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier after the moorings are deployed. The total glider mission is estimated to be approximately 45 days, depending the timing of deployment and pickup. The glider will, at the minimum, sample three cross-shelf and two along-shelf transects. The glider will be equipped with CTD, Dissolved Oxygen optode, chlorophyll-a fluorometer, Colored Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) sensor, optical backscattering at 700nm, Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) sensor, and an Imagenex Eco Sounder (120kHz). The raw physical, bio-optical, and bio-acoustics glider data will be stored onboard the glider science computer to be downloaded upon recovery. A designated subset of the data for each sensor will be transmitted back to the data server at VIMS in real time to track performance of the glider-mounted sensors. All glider data will be analyzed within their own context toward the objectives listed above and later integrated with the mooring data.

Local involvement includes using Kavik-Stantec to conduct community consultation, regulatory applications, and community reporting. Kavik-Stantec personnel will present updates, reports and information to the Aklavik, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committees. Updates and public reports will also be provided to Aurora Research Institute.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from August 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.