Large deep sea skate swimming

A large deep-dwelling skate slowly swims by Alvin while the crew investigates the Galapagos Rift Line west of the “Rose Bud” site explored yesterday. Click image for larger view.

Exploring New Regions

May 30, 2002

The operation has relocated to the west of our Rose Garden investigation. The ship steamed all night while collecting bathymetry data with the ship's multibeam survey system. Near sunrise, we arrived at a new location that showed a typical rift definition and morphology. Hopes of finding high temperature and velocity vents in the region run high. Transponders are set in the first hours of daylight, and the Alvin goes over with Pat Hickey piloting, Steve Hammond and Dan Fornari as the science party. During the dive, they run a course along the rift line and observe interesting biological specimens, including a large ray that swims near Alvin. The geological formations are spectacular, but no vents are found. We continue to search. After Alvin's recovery, the CTD goes over to search with chemical and physical sensors for thermal anomalies that would indicate the presence of a vent. ABE is also on watch, having gone over to survey a significant portion of the rift. This is new ground, and we are happy to be exploring here.

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