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On more than one occasion during our dive at Garden Banks 697, we became engulfed in a thick cloud of sediment. We knew something unusually was happening whenever we transited back to the same location, and were enveloped by the fog-like cloud. Once we completed the other tasks outlined in the dive plan, we turned our attention to finding the source of the plume and satisfying the curiosity that had been gnawing at us all day. After 20-30min of flying blind through the fog with little success in finding it’s source we changed tactics. With a bit of simple detective work, we used the direction of the current to trace the plume back to its source. Much like an airplane flying up through the clouds, the pilot flew the ROV up through and finally above and out of the ‘fog’. Once clear, we focused the cameras on the plume below and traced it back to the source, a mud volcano. We soon found an incised channel of fast-running mud. The “river” was carrying fluidized sediment. Within just a few minutes, the ROV control van, which is usually pretty quiet during the midnight to 4AM shift was full of raucous cheer and incessant Ooooh and Ahhhs. What a great way to start the day! Video courtesy of Expedition to the Deep Slope 2007, NOAA-OE.

 

Related Links

Expedition to the Deep Slope 2007

Expedition to the Deep Slope 2007: June 17 Log

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery