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Science News:
June-Aug. 2000
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NeMO Today:

Final Reports:
Ship's Location
: 47 42'N 126 13'W

Questions and Answers to NeMO

Science Report:
The last data have been collected, the last sample analyzed, and the maps stowed away. We have spent 14 days at sea, recorded almost 200 hours of CTD data, and collected almost 900 water samples. We have worked every day, sometimes around the clock, and gotten to know our shipmates a little bit better in the process. And we have improved our knowledge about the seafloor hydrothermal systems along the Juan de Fuca Ridge. All in all it has been a successful and enjoyable cruise. All that's left today is trying to figure out which piece of equipment goes in which box-and this is sometimes more difficult than the science work.

We have learned that our hypotheses about the evolution of the hydrothermal fields created by the 1998 lava eruption on Axial Volcano are substantially correct. Venting activity, so vigorous immediately after the eruption, decreases quickly at first and then more slowly with time. Combing our new data with those collected over the last two years will enable us to construct a mathematical model of this cooling off process.

We have also learned that the hydrothermal systems on the Cleft segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge are still going strong some 16 years after their discovery. These systems must be heated by a much larger magma source than other systems that cool in a few years after an eruption. There are still a lot of mysteries in the deep, enough for a lot of new scientists for many years to come.

My thanks for making this cruise so successful go to the many people you've been reading about here over the last two weeks. PMEL scientists Joe Resing, Sharon Walker, Geoff Lebon, Ron Greene, and Dana Greeley performed their usual professional jobs. We also had help from Rachel Shackelford, a graduate student at the University of Hawaii, Dan Sadler, a research technician also from Hawaii, and two college students: Peter McAuliffe from Carleton College and Kate Grof Tisza from the US Naval Academy. The distribution of all this information over the web would not have been possible without the daily efforts of our two Teachers-At-Sea, Carol McDowell and Mary Beth Sands. And of course without the capable seamanship of Capt. Parsons and the crew of the Ronald H. Brown we could have accomplished nothing.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief look into oceanography at sea. For me, nothing is quite as exciting as new discoveries, except perhaps telling the rest of the world about them.
Ed Baker Chief Scientist, VENTS Leg 3


Final plot of CTD hours and number of water samples complete on NeMO-CTD cruise.
(click for full-size)