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partlycloudy weather
Partly Cloudy
80°F (26.7°C)
Latitude: 25 deg 19.11’S
Longitude: 70 deg 02.35’E
Wind Direction: NE
Wind Speed: 18 Knots
Sea State 3-4
Swell(s) Height: 8-10 Foot
Sea Temperature: 79°F (26.1°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1014.6 MB Visibility: 18+ Nautical Miles

VideoRecovering Samples

Mussels & Vent Fish

what's to eat today?

Daily Update: Biological and chemical sampling at chimney site
April 6, 2001
By Amy Nevala

The Indian Ocean’s 80°F surface waters christened our new elevator and over 50 pounds of bottles, coolers and sampling equipment last night on their inaugural journey to the black smoker chimneys.

Video footage showed that the 14-foot high elevator, equipped with large yellow floats to keep it upright, was in good shape after the two and a half mile plunge. A sound device called a transponder helped us to locate it with ROV Jason during a 45-minute search this morning.

Like an elevator used in office buildings, ours will constantly shuttle equipment and samples from the seafloor to the ship. With Jason now functional and the sampling equipment on the bottom, we will use the elevator to bring animal specimens, hydrothermal fluids and chimney samples to Knorr for analyses.

Work began early this morning soon after Jason arrived at the seafloor. First the scientists deployed a crab trap baited with smelly fish and “the crabs seemed very interested,” said biologist Shana Goffredi.

When it came time to load water samples onto the elevator, DSOG tech and Jason pilot Mark Bokenfohr had the difficult task of maneuvering Jason’s giant metal claw to open one of the elevator’s green bins.

From the ship’s control van, Mark watched the monitor that showed the movements of Jason’s claw. For 20 minutes he struggled with a control stick to grasp a rope loop and lift the bin’s top.

“It wasn’t this hard on the deck, that’s all I’ve got to say,” said Mark after he successfully completed the job.

To understand the challenge of piloting Jason, put on a pair of ski gloves, jump in the bathtub and thread a needle under the water. It is possible, but it takes time, persistence and lots of practice.

Today on the biologists’ “seafloor shopping list” were mussels and anemones. One of the elevator’s large white bins is nearly filled with sea creatures. Knorr’s decks will be a busy place for humans and animals when the specimens appear in the morning.



Dive and Discover “Sea Quiz #1”

1. What is the name of the mid-ocean ridge where Jason is diving:
a) the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
b) the East Pacific Rise
c) the Central Indian Ridge
d) the Southeast Indian Ridge

2. ROV stands for:
a) Remotely Opening Van
b) Remotely Operated Vehicle
c) Real Occupied Voice
d) Reverse Outer Vehicle

3. The animals that ROV Jason is seeing at the hydrothermal vents include:
a) mussels, anemones, crabs, barnacles
b) tubeworms, octopus, jellyfish
c) giant squid, sperm whales, dolphins
d) cats, dogs, squirrels

4. The scientists are using what device to bring their samples back to Knorr from the seafloor:
a) an escalator
b) a transponder
c) an elevator
d) a teletransporter

5. Hydrothermal plumes can be found and mapped using what type of equipment:
a) an echosounder
b) a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, Depth)
c) satellite navigation
d) a transponder

[Click here to see the answers].


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