Monday, July 19, 2010

Volcanic Dive

At 3000 m ROPOS began maneuvering up the slope of a long since inactive volcanically formed seamount just south of Orphan Knoll. Along the mountainous ascent, researchers on board observed pillow lava and collapsed lava tubes (conduits), volcanic features that form when hot lava meets cool ocean water (right). The seamount can trace its volcanic origins to the spreading of the Atlantic governed by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

A number of taxonomic and geological collections were made, including volcanic rock and unidentified sponge and coral (Below). This 20 hr dive finished at about 2000 m with every collection container on ROPOS full to the brim. Taxonomists and Geologists alike will now patiently classify and catalogue all of the specimens in the ships general purpose lab. Rocks collected during this dive will be utilized to determine the age of the seamount. For more images from this dive click here (OK1).

ROPOS should be back in the water within 5 hrs upon recovery from this dive (July 20th, 4 am AST). A synopsis of the second dive on Orphan Knoll is available below.

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