Chukchi Sea Offshore Monitoring in Drilling Area
(Chemical and Benthos)



Chukchi Sea Offshore Monitoring in Drilling Area (Chemical and Benthos) (COMIDA CAB) is a comprehensive program funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to establish an integrated knowledge of this biologically productive and diverse ecosystem. The project spans 2008-2011, with field seasons in 2009-2010.

An extension of COMIDA CAB began in 2011 with the Hanna Shoal Ecosystem Study.


The Chemical and Benthos component addresses the benthic system with a particular emphasis on sediment chemical characteristics and the benthic biota, both infaunal and epifaunal. Objectives include:

  1. To establish baseline data set for benthic infauna and epifauna, organic carbon and sediment grain size, radioisotopes for down core dating, as well as measure trace metals in sediments, biota and suspended particles
  2. To determine the sources, cycles and fate of carbon, selected trace metals and the role of trace metals on organic carbon dynamics and food web dynamics on the inner shelf of the Chukchi Sea


Data from sampling efforts in 2009 and 2010 reveal that sediments contain low or background values for metals and aliphatic hydrocarbons (except for a few notable exceptions), and that the northern whelk, Neptunea heros, is a potentially valuable indicator for metals and organic contaminants.

The northeastern Chukchi Sea is a productive and highly complex system that is characterized by significant spatial heterogeneity in both benthic infaunal and epifaunal populations.

Read more in the final report.


  • Dick Prentki
    Contracting Office Representative
    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Steve Lanoux
    Marine Operations Lead
    UT Marine Science Institute
  • Ken Dunton
    COMIDA Science Lead
    UT Marine Science Institute
  • Jackie Grebmeier
    Cruise Chief Scientist
    UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
  • Lee Cooper
    Sediment chemistry
    UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
  • Rodger Harvey
    ODU Dept. of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
  • Brenda Konar
    Epibenthic characterization
    UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Science
  • David Maidment
    GIS and data management
    UT Center for Research in Water Resources
  • Susan Schonberg
    UT Marine Science Institute
  • John Trefry
    Trace metals
    Florida Institute of Technology