National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

Hydrothermal Hunt at Mariana

Overview of the planned survey area for the Hydrothermal Hunt. Image credit: SIO

November 21, 2015

Starting Nov. 21st, NOAA PMEL, UW/JISAO and OSU/CIMRS scientists will explore the Mariana Back-arc, a volcanically active region expected to be teeming with life. Research will take place aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Falkor and will use the autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry and CTD to detect and characterize hydrothermal vents found in the region. The team will start by surveying and identifying active vent sites along the Mariana back-arc, and will characterize each site by depth, geologic setting, temperature, chemical composition, and rise heights of hydrothermal plumes. A follow-up expedition next year will use the results found in this survey, and return to use a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to explore and sample the new sites found during this cruise.

Visit the Schmidt Ocean Institute cruise blog and the NOAA PMEL Earth-Ocean Interactions program for updates.

PMEL Project: