March 13, 2019

Research cruise log: Guaymas Basin

Posted by larryohanlon

Updates from the current cruise of the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor: Microbial mysteries — linking microbial communities and environmental drivers  

March 8: What you can sea

I have, of course, been thinking about being a crab. I am a yeti crab, contentedly passing my days picking up bits of the seafloor and occasionally eating them. Maybe. Researchers still are not sure what I eat, or if I even eat at all… (read more)

Yeti crabs huddle together near a hydrothermal vent. ROV SuBastian

March 11: Crashing a microbial and viral party in the deep sea

The deep sea is a hostile environment to most life. There is little by the way of food or other resources. To make matters worse, no light reaches the depths of the oceans. Amidst this darkness exist hot spots of chemical activity in the ocean bed known as hydrothermal vents, fertilizing the oceans with chemicals and nutrients. (read more)  

An artistic representation of the microbe and virus party in Guaymas Basin. Megan Dixon, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

March 12: Diving deeper

Microbes rule the world… and it is nowhere more apparent than the deep ocean. My first impressions as ROV SuBastian approached the seafloor at 2000 meters was a dark, desolate, mud filled expanse — what one would expect in this just above freezing environment devoid of life-giving sunlight and pressed with the immense pressure of 1.5 miles of overlying water. (read more)

Christian Borowski and Jason Westrich examine the latest rock sample, covered with Brachiopods, on the back deck of R/V Falkor. Thom Hoffman / SOI