The Submarine Ring of Fire 2012 NE Lau Basin exploration team onboard the R/V Roger Revelle arrived at its first dive target Vai Lili, on the Valu Fa ridge, in the Lau Basin in the early morning hours of September 11th. The ROV Quest 4000 was successfully deployed off the stern of the ship and arrived on the seafloor at a depth of 1,741m (5,710 ft) at 2208 GMT (0800 local Samoa time) for the first dive of the expedition. A total of three sites were visited, where successful collections of bacterial mats, sediment, temperature, gases, and water samples were made. The Quest 4000 was secured on deck at 0720 GMT (2020 local Samoa time). Sample processing continued throughout the evening as the ship transits for its second dive site of the expedition, S. Fonualei.
Later in the morning, the science team met with the ROV team for an overview of the capabilities and assets of the vehicle, as well as a brief on the display screens in the ROV Video Viewing Lab and the ROV Van. Using multibeam sonar today, a new underwater caldera was discovered and dubbed First Volcano. The water column above the caldera was sampled with the CTD.