Friday, April 15, 2016

Chagos 2016 - Day 11

Scientists from TRCC and GTOPP are at sea in the Indian Ocean with the Bertarelli Foundation's Chagos Archipelago Science Expedition 2016.  The daily reports are compiled by Dr. Heather Koldewey, Chief Scientist of the Expedition, and Dr. Barbara Block and Dr. Rob Dunbar from Stanford.

Day 11 highlights - 15th April 2016, Salomon Atoll

Value of long term data sets

• Today highlights the importance of long term data sets for the Chagos Archipelago
• Video data from Bangor Uni goes back to 2006 from Ile Passe (surveyed today) and other sites.
• Team members have surveyed these sites since 2012 and have recorded considerable changes.
• Due to the lack of local human impacts, the Chagos Archipelago provides a vital global reference site during this global coral bleaching event.
• Our discussions here have led to plans to use previous and new data for a collaborative peer reviewed publication from this expedition.


Coral Reef Team

A logging instrument that measures temperature, salinity, and depth every 10 minutes was installed at the entrance channel to Salomon Atoll.
This will help us understand how Salomon Atoll modifies waters derived from offshore. Atoll lagoon system properties control water density and also influence the distribution of life in the marine environment.
Twilight reefs of Ile Passe, Salomon

• Many fish associated with coral colonies
• Identified large schools of Thompson Surgeonfish over the reef from 40-50m depth
• Deepest reported sea anemones in Chagos Archipelago at 54m

Yellow damselfish associated with twilight coral
Thompson Surgeonfish

 Anemones on twilight reefs

Tagging Team

Another productive day for the shark tagging team. 14 sharks tagged, 2 SPOT tags deployed and another recapture!

This silvertip shark recapture was tagged yesterday in the same spot and almost at the same time…. it may not be the brightest shark in the atoll!

Thanks for another great day! Huge thanks to the Captain and crew for continued fantastic support on and off boats, underwater and back on Vava II.

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