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Daily Updates: January
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Daily Updates: February
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View Today's Slideshow!
brokenclouds weather
Broken Clouds
80°F (26.7°C)
Latitude: 9 deg 36 ’N
Longitude: 104 deg 14’W
Wind Direction: NE
Wind Speed: 13 Knots
Sea State: 3
Swell(s) Height: 9 Feet
Sea Temperature: 82°F (27.8°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1012.0 MB
Visibility: 12 Nautical Miles

what's to eat today?

Cheese omelets
Pecan pancakes
Breakfast bread pudding
Bagels and cream cheese

Chicken kabobs
Rice pilaf - one with meat, one with vegetables
Beef and barley soup
Salad bar
Snickers ice cream bars

Baked glazed ham
Breaded chicken breast
Orzo pasta friti
Asparagus with pimento butter
Salad bar
Banana chocolate creme pie

1.) Brachyurid crabs looking for lunch at the Tubeworm Pillar hydrothermal vent.

2.) Sampling hot, 274 degree Celsius, hydrothermal fluids at the Tubeworm Pillar vent.

3.) A large purple sea anemone on the lobate lava crust along the rim of the axial trough.

4.) A deep sea shrimp "walks" on the basalt lava near Marker 204.

5.) A shy octopus on the wall of the axial trough of the East Pacific Rise crest near 9degrees 49.6'N Latitude.

6.) Collapse feature in lobate lavas near Marker 204.

7.) Close-up of a purple sea anemone on the wall of the axial trough.

8.) Approach to the Tubeworm Pillar vent.
Daily Update: Dive 3528
February 3, 2000
By Dr. Dan Fornari and Sam Dean

Like clockwork, the Towed Camera Sled was brought back on board this morning at 0600 hours after another successful run during which over 1800 digital photographs were taken of the seafloor near 9° 37’N Latitude on the East Pacific Rise crest. Jenny, Greg, Del and Margo looked tired but happy that they had collected more data. So far they have collected nearly 10,000 photographs to analyze!

Alvin was ready to dive before 0800 hours. By 0805, the A-frame was lifting it over the fantail to continue the geophysical surveying near 9° 37’N. So far Jim, Dana, Hans and Dan have collected data on nearly 20 kilometers of survey lines.

At 1020 this morning the bells and whistles rang on RV Atlantis - abandon ship! Your schools aren't the ONLY places that practice safety drills - RV Atlantis does, too! Although it was only a drill, safety is a primary concern on board any ship. There isn't a fire station just around the corner to help us out! Once a week, Mitzi Crane, the First Mate, runs training drills designed to help keep the crew and scientists ready in case of emergencies on board. Everyone streamed out of the ship’s interiors, Gumby suits and life jackets in tow, to their designated starboard (right) and port (left) locations. Mitzi reviewed the procedures and the communications equipment we’d have at our disposal in the event we would have to abandon ship. After the drill the scientists were excused to go back to their work while the crew moved forward to the bow of the ship to practice using the fire hoses to fight fires. Make sure to check out the slide show and catch the crew in action!

Up in the library after lunch, Dana Yoerger talked about the history that lead to the development of the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) which is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) [learn more about ABE] and one of Woods Hole Oceanographic’s newest underwater vehicles. Dana, who is one of the leaders of the team responsible for creating and testing this fully robotic submersible, also discussed its many unique capabilities and features that make it perfect for many underwater jobs, like surveying and monitoring work on the seafloor. The audience listened intently while Dana related tales about the triumphs (and tribulations!) that ABE experienced in its early stages. ABE has been so successful over the past few years at taking magnetic measurements, detailed, centimeter resolution bathymetry, and high-resolution video images of the ocean floor that another AUV, ABE II, is already being designed!

When Alvin returned from the ocean floor, Capt. Tim McGee received the ritual dousing of water accorded any observer that makes a first dive in Alvin. Pranksters Margo Edwards and Greg Kurras also had another surprise cooked up for Tim - they had frozen his shoes in a block of ice as a welcome-back present!

Dive Summary
On Bottom: 0933 hours
Off Bottom: 1500 hours
Maximum Depth: 2563 meters

During today's dive Bob Waters, the pilot, Dan Fornari and Tim McGee traversed about 7.5 kilometers of seafloor while doing 5 East-West lines in Alvin. The gravimeter, magnetometer and the down looking video all worked perfectly. As they were traversing the seafloor they saw some old, extinct hydrothermal chimneys in the western axial trough. They also saw some fresh-looking sheet and curtain-folded lava near the western rim of the eastern axial trough. Dan is looking forward to being able to analyze all the video data so that he can correlate the surface geology of the volcanic flows to Jim's analysis of the gravity data and Hans's analysis of the magnetics data.