MERCW research cruises during summer 2007 (part 1)

PRESS RELEASE 2007-06–11
Modelling of Ecological Risks Related to Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons (MERCW)
INCO-CT2005-013408 

Research cruises during summer 2007

Scientific expeditions will be carried out during the summer 2007 in the framework of the EC MERCW project (“Modelling of Environmental Risks related to Sea-Dumped

Chemical Weapons”). The main goal of the MERCW research project is to study the possible impact of seadumped chemical weapons (CW) to the Baltic marine ecosystem, and based on the acquired data to model the risks related to the sea-dumped CW. These expeditions will concentrate on detecting the buried objects and taking samples for chemical analyses in the Bornholm Basin.

Cruise #1 in the Bornholm Basin

on board R/V Professor Shtokman and two sailing boats
June 12-27, 2007

A multidisciplinary survey will be carried out on board R/V Professor Shtokman and two sailing boats in the Bornholm Basin, east of the island of Bornholm, from 12 June till 27 June, 2007. The survey will take place on the basis of collaboration between the MERCW project and the project supported by the World Ocean International Environmental Foundation.

During the survey, the following activities will be carried out:

- bottom sediment and water sampling nearby the probable sources (“hot spots’) of released toxic substances discovered in previous campaigns,
- selective direct chemical and microbiological analyses on board of the collectedsamples, including arsenic, heavy metals, mustard gas, lewisite and their by-products,as well as conservation of all the samples for further comprehensive analyses on land,
- further investigation by ROV of ship wrecks found in the Bornholm dump site area,
- combined acoustic and magnetic measurements aimed to detect new specific objects for detailed study,
- study of the water structure and water motion responsible for possible transportationof suspended matters which might contain released toxic chemicals.

The multi-ship operation is planned for a more effective performance of the cruise program. Sailing boats will be used for precisely coordinated sampling and ROV operation in the vicinity of possible objects. To keep their proper position, these light-weight boats will be fixed by moored buoys. All the samples will be delivered on board “Professor Shtokman” for analysis and conservation. At the same time the vessel will perform the geophysical survey, working with heavy gravity corers and sediment grabs. Work with water structure and current profilers will be carried out from both sailing boats and the research vessel.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Project coordinator
Tapani Stipa
Finnish Institute of Marine Research
Erik Palménin aukio 1
00561 Helsinki, Finland
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tel. +358 40 505 8090

Scientist in charge of cruise #1
Vadim Paka
Shirshov Institute of Oceanology - Atlantic Branch
Prospect Mira 1
236000 Kaliningrad, Russia
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mercw.balticseaportal.fi 1

 

 

 
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