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6 January 2017
“When it comes to biology, we really have no idea what is down there,” explains Dr. Joyce Miller, multibeam mapping scientist. “We need to map the area first in order to know where to look in future exploration.”
4 January 2017
It has been hard containing my excitement since I first found out I would be a participant this past July. I am sure my friends and family were sick and tired of me constantly talking about being on the Falkor.
Not long after leaving port in Guam it was time for lesson one: mal de mer (sea sickness). The malady was especially harsh on three of the five adventurous storytellers, but as the sun rose the next day and the waves mellowed down, they slowly began emerging from their cabins, ready to reconnect with the excitement of their missions.
28 December 2016
This is the first series of scientific dives for ROV SuBastian. Equipped with numerous cameras, including a high-definition 4K video camera, the dives were live streamed onto YouTube and watched by millions. The multidisciplinary team will continue to analyze the data and samples collected during this expedition to advance research on how life thrives on these extreme deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
26 December 2016
It takes two and a half hours to get to the seafloor, but the view you get is worth the wait.
23 December 2016
The global ocean comprises Earth’s biggest microbiome, with at least half of the ocean’s microbial biomass occurring beneath the ocean floor.
Watch giant smokers and tiny “chimlets,” along with cannibalistic crabs and scavenger shrimps (and more!)
22 December 2016
A quick video primer on hydrothermal vent chimneys…
21 December 2016
The last few days have been full of dives and discoveries. The team has been piloting ROV SuBastian around Daikoku Seamount, an active submarine volcano with sulfur lakes, strange creatures and hydrothermal vents. Using the ROV’s High Definition cameras and R/V Falkor’s multibeam sonar, the team has been gathering data and visual information.
8 December 2016
The first day on the job is nerve-wracking for anyone, but when you’re a multimillion dollar ROV venturing into one of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet you’d have a pretty good excuse to feel nervous. Everything yesterday with ROV SuBastian went as smoothly as we could have hoped. We all get a quick nights rest and are back ready to go at sunrise. It’s dive two for the #hydrothermalhunt and we’re making another dive at Daikoku seamount for what may be our final visit.
7 December 2016
After two cancelled dives in the back-arc, we transit to our northern-most destination: Daikoku seamount. The winds and seas are calmer there, and it is a chance to revisit a fascinating underwater volcano. We get the confirmation we have been hoping for at 6.30am – conditions are good enough and ROV SuBastian is ready for its first dive.
30 November 2016
The truth is that we have barely scratched the seafloor; making this trip a real adventure into the unknown. We do know that chemosynthetic life loves to gather around energy-producing vents, but what organisms are there in this back-arc area? How are they distributed? How do they travel, survive, and evolve? In order to find out, the research vessel Falkor is loaded with a crack team of scientists and a brand new Remotely Operated Vehicle – SuBastian.
14 November 2016
Zooplankton is certainly not the study focus of Oliver’s working group, but for a while, these small crustaceans become a reminder of the complexity of the oceans’ systems. Every working team onboard has specific questions they would like to see answered, but on top of those, they are all always attentive for new learning opportunities.
11 November 2016
Microbes play many vital roles by physically and chemically changing their surroundings: they consume and produce a diverse range of organic and inorganic materials, provide food for other organisms, and drive biogeochemical cycles on a global scale.
10 November 2016
It was 1430 hours when the drone took off, loaded with an array of instruments designed to gather data for a period of three hours. “Now I’m excited!” said Chris Zappa, whose working group is in charge of modelling the factors governing air-water gas transfer in physically complex ocean systems.
9 November 2016
I am one half of the trace element sampling team – mentioned in an earlier blog post as the ‘Dust People.’ Together with Bill Landing from Florida State University, we are collecting a range of samples (aerosols, a.k.a. dust; rain; sea-surface microlayer; and underlying water from about 30 cm depth) for the determination of trace elements.
8 November 2016
It could be assumed that given the intensity of operations in this expedition, the thought of a five-day transit through calm waters would be warmly welcomed. The scientists would perhaps take advantage of the extra time by answering neglected emails, organizing their paperwork, or cleaning a few of their instruments; but mostly, many would expect them to rest, regain their energy and acclimatize to Falkor’s newfound rocking and rolling.
7 November 2016
Crew and researchers give a look into their roles in this Study of the Sea-Surface Microlayer and Air-Sea Boundary research cruise. At sea and on the ship, everyone has tasks that lead to the gathering of scientific data in this expedition.
Falkor’s inhabitants usually fall into two categories: Crew or Scientists. But every now and then a rare phenomenon will take place: islands within the island, not one thing or the other.