Mid-Cayman Rise Expedition 2011
In August 2011, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer will embark on an expedition to the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea, where a team of international scientists both at-sea and on shore will conduct interdisciplinary investigations of the Mid-Cayman Rise – an ultra-slow spreading center where two plates gradually move apart and upwelling magma creates new crust and the adjacent Cayman Trough. Our exploration will focus on the oceanic core complexes that appear to dominate construction of the rift valley walls along much of the Mid-Cayman Rise, and the inner wall of the Cayman Trough fracture zone immediately to the north – investigating the geology, marine life, and hydrothermal systems that these areas might host.
Over the course of 10 days, we will map the rift valley walls of the Mid-Cayman Rise and northern wall of the Cayman Trough Fracture zone using the ship’s deep-water multibeam sonar; explore the water column for hydrothermal activity using a CTD rosette, in situ sensors, and shipboard dissolved methane analysis; and conduct detailed seafloor investigations using a two-body remotely operated vehicle (ROV) capable of diving to 4,000m. During the expedition, live video of ongoing operations will be streamed to shore where a team of scientists from the U.S. and U.K. will join the expedition remotely through the use of “telepresence” technology.
You can access the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer Mid-Cayman Rise Expedition 2011 News feed here:
Updates & Logs
Click images or links below for detailed mission logs and updates.