0.5 to 1 meter tall active and inactive spires on the summit of the Kawio Barat submarine volcano. Image captured by the Little Hercules ROV at 1849 meters depth on August 3, 2010.

0.5 to 1 meter tall active and inactive spires on the summit of the Kawio Barat submarine volcano. Image captured by the Little Hercules ROV at 1849 meters depth on August 3, 2010. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, INDEX-SATAL 2010. Download larger version (jpg, 1.9 MB).

Dive 11: Spires
August 3, 2010
Latitude: 4d 40.573275’ N
Longitude: 125d 5.236396’ E
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Kawio Barat Volcano

The camera platform images the Little Hercules ROV as it shines its lights on active vents at Kawio Barat submarine volcano on August 3, 2010. Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010. Download (mp4, 20.0 MB)

Dive number 11 took place on Kawio Barat submarine volcano. The dive started at the wall vents visited during previous dives and focused on documenting the white smoker area. As we moved upslope toward the top of the crest and headed south, extensive fields of barnacles were discovered. Large spires, some active and some inactive, were abundant in this area and were often seen arranged in a line (perhaps along fault lines). Active spires were intensely venting clear fluids. Large aggregations of barnacles were seen on apparently inactive spires, whereas shrimp were commonly seen on the outer walls of the active ones. We started following a path of apparent chemosynthetic activity that headed downslope from the spire field on the southern crest slope. The heading of this trail brought us south and west to a depth of almost 2000m, bringing us to the end of the dive. Continuous observations of white bacterial films, clams and yellow were made along the way. No additional sources of focused venting were found.