For those interested in exploring the vast oceans, please feel free to drop Node Leader Jennifer Verduin a line (j.verduin@murdoch.edu.au).

Back to the Future - the 110°E voyage of the second International Indian Ocean Expedition

In the 1960s, Australia made a significant contribution to the first International Indian Ocean Expedition. Over five decades later, in a warming Indian Ocean, a second Expedition is underway. As Australia’s major contribution to this international initiative, in May/June 2019 a multi-institutional team repeated the 110°E line off Western Australia with the RV Investigator. We examined multi-decadal change in physical, chemical and biological properties of the water column, studied microbes, genomics, functional diversity and biogeochemistry especially related to nitrogen, and investigated the pelagic food web from pico-plankton through to meso-pelagic lantern fishes. The voyage enabled ground truthing of satellite remote sensing of sea surface colour by quantifying algal pigments, primary production and bio-optical quantities as well as undertaking acoustic tracking of whales. Though some of our work used the original methods employed during the first Expedition, these were supplemented by a host of modern techniques and electronic technology.  A synopsis of the 110°E voyage as well as preliminary “hot off the ship” results will be presented. It is anticipated that our findings will lead to a better understanding of the pelagic ecosystem at the western edge of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone where several new Marine Parks have been proclaimed.

For more information on this ground-breaking expedition go to: https://iioe-2.incois.gov.in/


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