The first expedition, on board Research Vessel Sagar Nidhi conducted as a part of IIOE-2 has concluded at Mauritius after exploring the western Arabian Sea for 18 days. The voyage was flagged of by the Hon. Minister of State for Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Mr. Y. S. Choudhary at a function held at Mormugao, Goa on 4 December 2015.
The expedition was led by Prof. P. N. Vinayachandran of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and Dr. Satya Prakash of ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (ESSO-INCOIS), Hyderabad. 12 Indian Scientists participated representing IISc, INCOIS, NIOT (Chennai), NCAOR (Goa), NRSC (Hyderabad) and Goa University. In addition to scientists from India, there were participants from Mauritius, Israel, Singapore, Australia and UK.
The major goal of this multi-disciplinary scientific expedition was to understand the structure of water masses in the western Indian Ocean along 67°E and assess the difference in their characteristics with respect to observations made in the past. The other objective of the cruise was to understand the physical-chemical-biological characteristics in the equatorial Indian Ocean and their inter-relationships. Underwater profiles of currents, temperature, salinity, oxygen, light and chlorophyll were measured during the cruise. In addition, samples have been collected to a depth of 1000 m for various chemical and biological analyses. Samples of zooplankton were collected using nets towed from the stern of the ship.
It is expected that the data collected during this expedition will elucidate the currents and water masses in the western Indian Ocean in detail and thus further our understanding of the oceanography of the Indian Ocean.
ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services,