Charting Explorer Ridge
June 30, 2002
Geological Research Assistant
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA
Despite an anxious morning trying to resolve problems with the CTD system, today was a good start to the exploration of Explorer Ridge.
Late this evening, we have completed two striking swaths of multibeam bathymetry that is clearly superior to the older data in this area (see accompanying image). The new data reveals much greater detail of the fault structures and volcanic features of the shallow portion of Explorer Ridge. In addition, we now have a very accurate map of the area that we will use when we send ABE down for its first dive, which will probably be sometime tomorrow.
Late this evening, we will begin to deploy four transponders, which are undersea sound beacons that can be used to triangulate the position of ABE during its surveys. In addition, we just got word that the seas are calming down and that the CTD is fixed. Hopefully, tomorrow we will have some exciting news about the first deployment of ABE and the first immersion of the CTD into the hydrothermal plumes above the Explorer Ridge.
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