Monday, July 19, 2010

Orphan Knoll Dive 2 : SE Ridge Mounds

The Orphan Knoll Dive 1 : Orphan Seamount, proved to be an interesting geological and biological dive ; whereby, possible new species of coral and sponge were collected and photographed and large pillow basalts, lava tubes and large bedrock outcrops made for an exciting geological component.

The first official ROV dive (Dive 2) on the Orphan Knoll will be on the SE ridge ~30km near the Orphan Seamount (Dive 1).

Dive 2 covers three mound features that are generally 100m tall, in roughly 2900m of water depth. Dive 2 plan is shown below.

The origin of these mounds could be linked to the origin of the NE and SW mounds. The origin of the Orphan Knoll mounds could possibly be formed by cold-seeps, hydro-thermal activity, biological (i.e. coral reefs) or through some unknown method. Determining, through in situ rock sampling, the origin of the Orphan Knoll mounds is of primary concern with a secondary objective; to determine what marine biology lives on the Orphan Knoll.

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