“CANALES SPRING 2021”: New oceanographic cruise in the Mediterranean Sea by the research vessel SOCIB

In May 2021, the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) performed the “CANALES SPRING 2021” oceanographic campaign on board the Research Vessel SOCIB (R/V SOCIB) aimed at further deepening the knowledge of state and variability of the Balearic Sea, consolidating and further developing scientific research. The “CANALES SPRING 2021” campaign is part of the SOCIB “CANALES” endurance line and is also a contribution to the JERICO-S3 EU-funded infrastructure project under the activities of the Pilot Supersite of North-Western Mediterranean Sea.

“CANALES SPRING 2021”: New oceanographic cruise in the Mediterranean Sea by the research vessel SOCIB

The oceanographic cruise performed several transects in the Mallorca Channel and the Ibiza Channel, two relevant enclaves in the Mediterranean Sea, in a biodiversity hotspot that allows researchers to understand the processes and complex inter-basin circulation and exchange of water masses, at a “choke point” in the cyclonic return flow before it exits into the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar. To that end, the campaign involved the sampling of physical, chemical and biological parameters (CTD casts and water sampling) in the Mallorca Channel and the Ibiza Channel.

In addition, the SOCIB team on board R/V SOCIB deployed a glider (sdeep06) off the Ibiza coast and two surface drifters (SVP-B) in the Ibiza Channel, the latter within the framework of the Global Drifter Program (NOAA). This programme aims at maintaining a global 5 x 5-degree array of about 1300 satellite-tracked surface drifting buoys to meet the need for in situ observations, as well as providing a data processing system for the scientific use of these data. Furthermore, samples of microplastics were also collected in both channels using a Manta trawl net to monitor the current status of the distribution of floating plastic debris and to verify its correspondence with forecasting models. Moreover, as a part of the “CANALES SPRING 2021” oceanographic campaign, the researchers also performed a first pilot study for marine mammals and other sentinel species sampling environmental DNA in the Ibiza Channel, in coordination with the Universitat de València.

This cruise has been one of the pilot cruises using the EARS shipboard system, a software environment developed by the partners of the EU-funded Eurofleets Project, in which SOCIB takes part.

The initial cruise report is available at the SOCIB RAMADDA Data repository and the metadata and obtained data from this cruise can be found in the SOCIB thredds data catalog.