Daily Update: Goodbye to Edmond
23 deg 52.7S
Longitude: 69 deg 35.7E
Wind Direction: SE
Wind Speed: 15 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 5-7 Foot
Sea Temperature: 78°F (25.9°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1016.6 MB
Visibility: 18+ Nautical Miles
shark and Jason
By Amy Nevala
Today we took our last sediment samples, saw our last shrimp and
bid farewell to the Edmond Vent Field. Tonight we pointed
our bow west towards Mauritius. In just over two days we
will arrive at Port Louis, where we began this expedition
30 days ago.
One of the main goals of todays final Jason dive was to collect
core samples for Microbiologists Anna-Louise Reysenbach and Dorothee
Gotz and Geochemist Darryl Green. By collecting cores, they can
see the history of microbial life at this vent field
in the various sediment layers, and determine what bacteria live
in each layer. For example, bacteria deeper in the sediment may
thrive in a higher temperature environment.
the temperature of the sediment with the ICL Temperature-probe,
the scientists discovered that just below the surface the mud
is hot, up to 212°F (100°C) in places. Then, using a
large clear tube, Chief Pilot Will Sellers directed Jasons
manipulator to plunge the tube into the side of an orange-colored
slope where curling wisps of hot hydrothermal fluids were visible.
After capturing a load of sediment in the tube, he quickly returned
it to Jasons
basket for the microbiologists.
With the rusty-looking sediment now in hand, Anna-Louise
and Dorothee will analyze the core samples for bacteria. We want to take stock of the bacteria living
there before we can start answering questions like, what are these bacteria doing
in this environment? How do they change the chemistry of the environment? Which
bacteria are dominant? said Dorothee.
In celebration of our last day on station of this
expedition, Steward Mirth Miller prepared a 28-pound turkey with
all the usual trimmings, including squash and cranberry pecan pie.
Before eating we gathered on Knorrs bow
for a sunset toast honoring the late MIT Geochemist John Edmond, a
hydrothermal vent research pioneer who died earlier this month
in Massachusetts. We named this site for John after we discovered
it last week.
John, here we are at sea again where we first met you and where we say
good bye, read Chemist Bob Collier from a note. Then he tucked the paper
into an empty bottle, sealed it, and at the end of the ceremony, Bob lifted his
arm and tossed the bottle into the waves.
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