Sometimes leaving equipment at a vent site can be just as hard as collecting pieces of a chimney. Here, Costa Vetriani, Donato Giovanelli, and Ashley Grosche are doing just that. You’ll see Jason deploy one of their samplers, called a “colonizer,” on the sea floor. The device (which we learned about on January 7) is simple—just a piece of plastic pipe with some metal screen on top—but it can be tricky to handle. The scientists need to place it precisely where diffusely-flowing vent fluid is coming out of the sea floor, so it will be in the path of microbes carried by the fluid. The researchers hope to learn how microbes first settle on a surface at a vent site. If you watch closely, you can see two different kinds of tubeworm in this video. Tubeworms offer clues to where hot fluid is coming out of the seafloor. The worms on the left, called Riftia, prefer a cooler environment than the smaller Alvinella worms on the right.
This clip offers a rare view of samples leaving the ocean floor on an elevator.View video »