We greatly appreciate the support we received from the Jason team and the captain and crew of the R/V Revelle. They went above and beyond in their efforts to support our science goals and to help us achieve as much as we could during this expedition.
Our last Jason dive was to revisit the Mariana southern back-arc. The goal for this dive was to sample the tall chimney known as Golden Horn at Urashima vent and to retrieve sampling devices left at the Snail Vent.
The animal populations of NW Rota are now in expansionist mode! On this visit to the volcano, our fifth in ten years, we found no evidence of active volcanic activity but there was plenty of leaking hydrothermal fluid.
A fundamental question in marine ecology asks why organisms live where they do. An animal’s distribution can be explained by how they are affected by the physical (abiotic) environment and by other organisms (biotic environment).
One of the things we’re learning on this expedition is that the Mariana arc is even more dynamic than we had thought. We knew the arc seamounts were active volcanoes, but we had little way of knowing how frequently they are active and what impacts such activity might have on the ocean environment.
Despite centuries of documented exploration, the profusion of nautical tales, and the long history of settlements along every inhabitable coast, we seem to know more about the Moon than the waters that help regulate the Earth’s climate and foster the growth of millions of organisms.
Unfortunately the foremost reputation for bacteria is that of being germs, and while they can be dispassionate killers, the vast majority are harmless to humans. In fact, far more microbes provide beneficial services to our planet than are involved in causing disease.
The mussel beds of NW Eifuku are impressive – surely it is a great place to live!!
NW Eifuku seamount is one of our main focus sites during this research cruise. Why are we so interested in this place?
This morning we sat off of Ahyi seamount, lowering the CTD into the ocean to assess the hydrothermal status of the volcano and waiting for daylight prior to approaching the summit.
We arrived at NW Rota-1 yesterday, which is the seamount that we’ve found to be erupting underwater during every previous visit we’ve made to the site. However, this time we only had about 12 hours to work before the winds were forecast to come up due to Typhoon Hagupit, which is passing south of Guam.
Our first Jason dive (J2-797) was to the Southern Mariana Back-arc spreading center, also known as the Malaguana-Gadao Ridge.
We’re just now leaving port in Guam and heading to our first dive site at Snail Vent, which is located on the southern Mariana back-arc.
Check out mission logs from past Submarine Ring of Fire expeditions: