IOGOOS cruise of ORV Sagar Kanya -SK/183

Report on first leg Chennai -Seychelles – Mauritius, October 17- November 4, 2002

1.0 Preamble: 

Towards establishing a regional alliance for the development of Global Ocean Observing System for the Indian Ocean (IOGOOS), a high level meeting was organized at New Delhi on November 2001, where principal representatives of 11 agencies from 7 countries in the Indian Ocean region (Australia, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Seychelles and South Africa) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) participated. The IOGOOS is scheduled to be launched in the Indian Ocean Conference to be held at Mauritius during November 4-9, 2002 where large members of representatives from the Indian Ocean region as well as members from the scientific panels of IOC are expected to deliberate and initiate projects on areas of common concern in the Indian Ocean region.

In the above context, Department of Ocean Development, Govt. of India offered a research cruise for scientists from the Indian Ocean region onboard ORV Sagar Kanya from India to Mauritius and back during October to November 2002.

This cruise of ORV Sagar Kanya from Chennai to Mauritius via Seychelles and back to Chennai was flagged off at Chennai on 17.10.02 by Dr. S.P. Seth, Joint Secretary DOD and in the presence of Directors of DOD institutions -NIOT, INCOIS and NCAOR and Chief Engineer of Chennai Port Trust. This cruise had 31 Scientists on board from six countries from the Indian Ocean region including India. Other participating countries are Sri Lanka, South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles and Kenya.


 2.0 Objectives:

 The major objectives of the cruise are:

 i. To bring together scientists of the Indian Ocean region and Indian institutions involved in ocean related R & D activities on a common platform.

ii. Training and joint participation in the operation of a variety of instruments, data collection and data analysis pertaining to various meteorological and oceanographic parameters including satellite oceanography.

iii. To deploy the special type of drifting floats namely,

       a) ARGO deep water floats

       b) Surface drifting buoys

iv. To have an information exchange with the international participants on various oceanographic measurements inclusive of all ocean observation, ocean information and satellite based ocean services in the respective countries.

v. Specific scientific observations and demonstrations by the teams from various Indian institutions on the onward and return cruise.


After leaving Chennai on 17th October 2002, the ship sailed South East direction towards South of Bay of Bengal to reach the zone outside the EEZ of India and Sri Lanka to commence oceanographic measurements and deployment of floats.


 3.0 Brief description of activities carried out:

The first ARGO float was deployed at 10.05 IST on Oct. 20, 2002, at Lat. 6° N Long. 85° 06.97 E after pre-deployment checks. To provide an inter comparison of data on temperature and salinity, XBT and CTD measurements were carried out at the same station. A drifting buoy was also deployed at the same station. Subsequently, Argo floats were deployed at a distance of approximately 180 nautical miles between the stations along the cruise track. The ARGO floats made by Mls. Webb Research Inc. , USA and Mls. MetOcean Data Systems, Canada were deployed alternately. The cruise track during onward journey to Mauritius via Seychelles is shown in Annexure II, with various deployments / measurement stations marked on it.

From station 1, all underwater measurements like hydrosweep, magnetometer, marine gravimeter, wave recorder, acoustic doppler current profiler, thermosal, were switched on for continuous measurements along with Automatic Weather Station (A WS) for all meteorological parameters. The scientists from SAC, Ahmedabad and IITM, Pune conducted measurements on solar radiation and ozone. The water samples collected at various depths from surface to 1000 m and were analysed for various nutrients, viz. phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, silicate concentrations. Apart from these, chlorophyll a & b and pheophytin were also analysed. The entire list of onboard measurements conducted is given in Annexure III. Also a demonstration of the operation of gravity corer at 4013 m was carried out.

During the onward cruise, senior scientists from NIOT, NCAOR, INCOIS, SAC and IITM gave lectures on various topics related to ocean science and technology. Director (Admin.), DOD gave a lecture on all the Ocean Development activities in India being coordinated and administered by the department. The foreign participants delivered talks on the activities of their respective institute. The list of speakers and topic of their talk are listed in Annexure IV. A special training course volume was prepared and distributed to all participants. This volume contained the lectures notes and the description and specification of all scientific instruments available on board ORV Sagar Kanya.

The ship ORV Sagar Kanya reached Port Victoria, Seychelles in the forenoon of 30.10.2002. There were visits of dignitaries and public to the vessel in the afternoon of l 30th October and forenoon of 31st October 2002. Two Scientist from Seychelles joined the cruise at Seychelles. The ship sailed from Port Victoria in the afternoon of 31st October 2002 and reached Port Louis, Mauritius on 4th November 2002.

The return cruise will start from Mauritius in the evening of .10th November 2002 and expected to reach Chennai on 28th November 2002. 10 scientists from NIO, Goa and 2 scientists from Mauritius will join the return cruise. The major activity during the return cruise will be CTD measurements at 32 stations, along a normal to Equator to study the flux across the Equator near the locations where I equatorial current moorings are already installed by NIO, Goa. Three more ARGO Floats will be deployed in the Southern Bay of Bengal during the return cruise before returning to Chennai.

In order to provide a record of the varieties of measurements made with different type of instruments on board, a compilation has been made which contains typical data sets obtained on board the cruise.