INSPIRE: Chile Margin 2010

Mission Introduction

Jolted by the planet’s biggest earthquakes, sequestering massive reservoirs of methane, while slowly swallowing a mid-ocean ridge, the Chilean margin offers an inspiring natural laboratory for investigating the complex interactions among the solid earth, the deep ocean, and the biosphere. At the Chilean triple junction, where the South Chile rise (a ridge crest) is being forced under the methane-rich South American continent, 10 students — from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and University of California – Santa Barbara— and an international team of scientists will explore for tectonically controlled hydrothermal vents, for seep sites of massive methane release, and for novel “hybrid” systems that may yield hot seeps or cool vents.

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Video Highlights

Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE)

This animation shows how ABE is used to find and then photograph sites of hydrothermal activity. For more information see 

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Swimming Sea Cucumbers

Multicore video footage from the seafloor of swimming sea cucumbers!

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Sediment Sample

Video taken from the seafloor at 2600m depth, as the multicore lands and takes a sediment sample amount deep sea fauna.

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