Join us for the GALREX 2011: “Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011”. This unique expedition, to one of the most fascinating areas of the world’s ocean, will explore diverse deep sea habitats on seamounts and hydrothermal vent systems in the Galápagos region. Click image for larger view and image credit.
Galápagos Rift Expedition 2011
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
From June to July 2011, a team of scientists and technicians both at-sea and on shore will conduct exploratory investigations on the diversity and distribution of deep-sea habitats and marine life in the vicinity of the Galápagos Islands. The 50-day expedition is divided into two ‘legs’ and includes work in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and international waters.
Mapping and water column information collected during Leg I identified a number of exciting targets to explore with the Institute for Exploration’s Little Hercules ROV during Leg II. Between July 11 and July 28, we expect to explore seamounts, the oldest known vent fields, off-axis sulfide mounds, deep fracture zones, and newly-discovered vents.
The expedition also marks the debut of a new camera sled and lighting platform named Seirios. When deployed from the ship with the Little Hercules, we will be able to provide scientists and the audiences onshore with the very first video footage from a number of deepwater areas around the Galápagos.
You can access the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer Galapagos Rift Expedition 2011 News feed here:
Updates & Logs
Click images or links below for detailed mission logs and updates.
Mission Summary Results of the GALREX 2011
cruise indicate abundant and recent hydrothermal and volcanic activity on two adjacent tectonic ridge segments, spanning more than 200 km of spreading axis.
July 22 Log
After spending barely a week reading textbooks and articles about plate tectonics, navigation systems, black smokers, white smokers, and the biological indicators that tip a researcher off that we are getting close to active hydrothermal venting, the dives started
July 19 Log
The data the Multibeam EM302 system on board the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer collects consists of bathymetry and backscatter
; both are valuable in understanding the seafloor structure.
July 17 Log
The science team decided to head southeast to explore a number of sites identified as having the anomalous temperature and light readings characteristic of active hydrothermal vents
July 16 Log The Conductivity Temperature and Depth sensor package (CTD)
is one tool of exploration used by the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer (EX). The first time I used a CTD was aboard the Schooner Westward (Sea Education Association) when I was enrolled in a summer programthat taught marine science along with seamanship and sailing.
July 13 Log
Despite the great advice given from many in the office about what to expect as web coordinator,o one could have prepared me for the marathon first day of ROV operations
Daily Updates Click here
to read short daily summaries of the ship's activities, written by the Galápagos Rift Expedition Coordinator.