Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reading suggestion: Nature publication on hypoxia off the Oregon coast

A News Feature article in Nature gives an alarming example of coastal hypoxia and pinpoints the need for oxygen monitoring to understand hypoxia causes and improve predictive capabilities

If somebody is still in doubt about the need to monitor oxygen and to better understand hypoxia formation in aquatic environments it is highly recommended to read an article by Virginia Gewin about hypoxia formation off the Oregon coast that was recently published as a Nature News Feature. For the past 9 years hypoxia has been observed in coastal waters that do not receive enough fertilizer runoff from the adjacent coast to explain the recurrent decline in oxygen concentrations by eutrophication. Instead the most probable reason for hypoxia off Oregon is a decrease in oxygen concentration in water layers that feed the seasonal upwelling. Whether or not this is directly connected to climate change is still under debate. One thing, however, is clear: in order to better understand and predict oxygen fluctuations it is necessary to improve oxygen observation capacities. A need that is certainly recognized by the hypox consortium...

Text: Felix Janssen

Friday, May 28, 2010

Second IFM-GEOMAR-HYPOX expedition to the eastern Gotland Basin (R/V ALKOR, leg AL-355)

From 29. May to 21. June R/V ALKOR is working in the eastern Gotland Basin in the central Baltic Sea. A major focus of the cruise, led by Dr. Olaf Pfannkuche from HYPOX partner IFM-GEOMAR, is to understand the role of open sea sediments of the Baltic Proper as sources and sinks for nitrogen, phosphorus, trace metals and carbon under low oxic to anoxic conditions. A lot of the work will be dedicated to in situ measurements of turnover and fluxes of nitrogen compounds, phosphate, iron, manganese and carbon in the benthic boundary layer at variable bottom water oxygen concentrations. In parallel to these measurements under natural conditions, the effects of variable oxygen availability in the bottom water on N-speciation and release of nutrients will be determined by in situ experiments. Further activities during the cruise comprise biological investigations (meiobenthos, epibenthos) and sea floor imaging. A lander observatory will be deployed at 97m for three weeks to measure currents and oxygen variability near the bottom and to take time lapse photos of the activity of bottom organisms. Major working sites will be in the eastern Gotland Basin of the Baltic Proper along a depth transect line in the Latvian EEZ. The transect line includes stations , which have been visited during a pre-study with R/V Poseidon (POS-369, July/August 2008) and during the first HYPOX Cruise with R/V Alkor (AL-346, Sept/Oct. 2009). These stations, ranging from shallow water (~ 60 m) to deepest part of the basin (~250 m), are representative for the Gotland Basin and include sites with both oxygenated and anoxic/sulfidic bottom water.

Fig. 1: R/V ALKOR: Tonnage 1322GT, Length 54,5m, Beam 12,5m, Scientific Crew 12. (Photo: IFM-GEOMAR)

Fig. 2: Map of ALKOR cruise No. 355: working area framed. (O. Pfannkuche, IFM-GEOMAR).

Fig. 3: Deployment of a GEOMAR-Lander from R/V ALKOR (Photo O. Pfannkuche, IFM-GEOMAR)

Text: Olaf Pfannkuche, IFM-GEOMAR

Thursday, April 8, 2010

HYPOX expedition to the Black Sea (12.4 to 8.5.2010)

During leg 15-1 of the german research Vessel Maria S. Merian, HYPOX scientists will carry outinvestigations in the Black sea . The HYPOX partner institutions involved in the cruise include MPI, AWI, Eawag, GKSS, Ifremer, IBSS, INGV, ITU, SAMS, and Uni-HB/MARUM. The BlackSea shelf is a natural laboratory for studying the biogeochemical signatures of oxygen depletionthe water column and sedimentary record, as the Black Sea is the largest anoxic water bodyon Earth. The transition zone between oxygen rich and oxygen depleted water is found atwater depth. During the cruise MSM15/1 the focus lies on new technologies for in situ measurements of oxygen dynamics and associated biogeochemical processes in the BlackSea. The first target area is the Turkish shelf and slope impacted by the inflow of oxicMediterranean water to the anoxic Black Sea. Here, in situ water column sampling andsediment coring will be carried out along a depth transect. The second study site is the Crimeanshelf, where surveys using MEDUSA tows as well as deployments of the benthic crawler MOVEand the submersible JAGO will be conducted to map the hydrographical conditions, thedistribution of the chemocline (transition zone between oxic andsulfidic waters) and thebenthic habitat structure. Numerous sensor platforms and sampling tools will provide a 3D image of biogeochemical processes in the hypoxic-anoxic transition zone of the Black Sea aswell as on the changing biodiversity.The mission will also contribute to the EU ARGO programby deploying floats and profilers in the western and northern Black Sea.

R/V Maria S. Merian. photo:

HYPOX student Zeynep Erdem taking samples on a previous cruise to the istanbul strait area. photo: M. Guenter, MPI

The expected cruise track and the working areas of lag 15-1 of R/V Maria S. Merian: image:, F. Janssen, MPI

Stay tuned to learn more about the cruise: during the cruise the scientist will regularly update a weblog on the cruise and on first results. please follow
this link or visit

text: M. Schloesser, A. Boetius, F. Janssen
in 100-250 m

Friday, April 2, 2010

HAUSGARTEN oxygen workshop at AWI (10.-11.3.2010)

Thomas Soltwedel from the german Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) organizes a workshop on oxygen measurements at the deep-sea long-term observatory HAUSGARTEN, which serves as an open ocean reference site within HYPOX. The prime intention of the workshop is to compile and secure all oxygen records assessed during the last 10 years of intense multidisciplinary studies at HAUSGARTEN observatory by a variety of methods: on board Winkler titrations of bottom water and in-situ incubation chamber samples, in-situ and on board microprofiler measurements as well as short- and long-term measurements with 1D Aanderaa optodes and 2D planar optodes. The compiled data will be transferred to the PANGAEA repository and thus be available via the HYPOX data portal. Workshop participants plan to use the data to assess fluxes and remineralization of organic matter and its influence on sediment oxygenation as well as for the analysis of long term trends in bottom water oxygen concentration.

All in all eight scientists from three institutions join the workshop at AWI: Cécile Cathalot & Christophe Rabouille (CEA-CNRS), Eberhard Sauter, Frank Wenzhöfer, Ingo Schewe & Thomas Soltwedel (AWI), and Janine Felden (MPI-MM). Colleagues from UGOT are not attending the workshop but provide their oxygen data collected at HAUSGARTEN in summer 2007.

Figure 1: One of the buildings of the AWI in Bremerhaven (Germany), the institution that hosts the workshop

Figure 2: the logo of Pangaea, the data archive that hosts the HAUSGARTEN data

Text: Thomas Soltwedel & Felix Janssen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

HYPOX first annual meeting (22.-25.3.2010)

Now that the HYPOX project is almost 12 months old, representatives of all 16 HYPOX partner institutions will join for the first annual meeting in Istanbul. The meeting is hosted by the Eastern Mediterranean Centre for Oceanography and Limnology at Istanbul Technical University and will take place at the campus of the ITU branch in the Taksim area. Umut Ülgen and Zeynep Erdemz from ITU did a great job with preparations so all participants look forward to an inspiring and well organized meeting.

A lot of things were achieved during the first year of HYPOX. Several cruises were conducted, the first observatories are installed, and the first version of the data portal is online and already provides the first data measured in HYPOX. Consequently, the core part of the meeting from monday till wednesday is dedicated to reports from the different work packages (WPs). However - apart from reports on the status of the ongoing work in the respective WPs, a major goal for the meeting is to foster the links between WPs: Between the people installing the observatories and doing the measurements (WP1, 4, 6 & 7), people in charge of data standardization, sharing, and archiving (WP5) and the people that take care of modeling oxygen depletion and assessing the ecosystem response (WP 2&4).

On thursday an open workshop on the state of the art of physical-biogeochemical modeling of oxygen depletion takes place. The workshop is organized and chaired by Andy Dale and includes not only contributions from several modeling experts in HYPOX but also from Marilaure Gregoire, University of Liege, Belgium and Evgeniy Yakushev from NIVA in Norway. In parallel to the modeling workshop meetings on work package issues, benthic fauna under the influence of hypoxia, and technical issues will be held.

The participants of the 1st annual meeting

Prof. Muhammed Sahin, Rector of Istanbul Technical University welcoming the meeting participants

Entrance of the picturesque meeting venue (Faculty of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University)

Meeting program
Modeling workshop program

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

HYPOX Project information brochure online

Everybody who'd like to learn more about HYPOX reasearch and researchers is welcome to download a 12 page information brochure. The texts and images give a brief introduction to hypoxia's causes and consequences, project monitoring sites, measurement and modeling strategies, HYPOX standardization and data sharing policy, and, last but not least, the members of the consortium.

The brochure is published by the coordination team of HYPOX (Antje Boetius & Felix Janssen, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and Christoph Waldmann, MARUM, in Bremen, Germany) in close collaboration with Jack Middelburg (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Yerseke, The Netherlands) and several other members of the HYPOX consortium.

The editorial team: Antje Boetius, Felix Janssen, Christoph Waldmann, Jack Middelburg (upper left to lower right)

As in the case of the HYPOX logo and the project web design Sabine Luedeling / Medieningenieure Bremen took care of the artwork.

Sabine Luedeling (Medieningenieure Bremen)