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Questions and Answers

Brittle stars are one of the most common organisms we see on the seafloor.

Question submitted by: Hyde Hadaway

Yes, we and many scientists that work in the submarine environment will leave instruments on the seafloor and return after days or even a year or two to retrieve them. One of the inherent hurdles in studying a place as remote as the deep sea is that it is difficult to get measurements for time-series investigations. In the past decade major advancements have been made in underwater navigation and systems like USBL (ultra-short baseline) that the ROV ROPOS uses allows us to find precise locations and return to our experimental sites.

Question submitted by: Robert McSwain

Great question! Once the Ocean Observatories Initiative's cabled observatory is in place and online in 2014, data will stream from various sensors and instruments over the Internet 24/7/365. This data will be available to anyone, anytime, and will be non-proprietarty. Stay tuned!

Question submitted by: Douglas Rauh

At this depth surge can be an issue, but we've been fortunate to have had really good weather for the duration of the cruise. During launch, the ROPOS team attaches a string of floats onto the tether above the vehicle to help absorb some of the motion that travels down the tether from the surface.

Question submitted by: eric

Good question. We are currently at Axial Seamount, which is located along the axis of the Juan de Fuca spreading ridge (a divergent zone). We often refer to the seamount as just "Axial", so it is the name of the specific seamount that will be one of the primary study sites of the National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatories Initiative.

Question submitted by: MBroussard

There are a lot of submarine volcanologists interested in this very same question. We believe lava pillars form as an eruption drainback begins. This website by the NOAA PMEL group has a very nice description of it:

Question submitted by: Julie

The numbers you see in the metadata are latitude, longitude, and depth in meters on one line. The next line is date, time, and heading. Then cruise name and dive #.

Question submitted by: Mafl

We are currently working on one, but for now visit this great website of species found at Axial Seamount put together by the NeMO group at NOAA:

Question submitted by: marthasmom

The cable running up the slope of Axial Seamount is 17 mm thick .

Question submitted by: Emilie Hooft

The green lasers that you see are used to gauge scale in the image. The two green laser dots are spaced 10 cm apart.

Question submitted by: matt

(August 22, Dive 1659) We are currently at ~1700 meters deep. We are coming up the slope of Axial Seamount with the ROV ROPOS right now, the summit of which is ~1500 meters deep.

Question submitted by: Fontaine

We will have "best hits" of our streams available on our website after the cruise and will continue to update it as we piece together more clips. Glad you're enjoying it!

Question submitted by: Bencze Racz

When we measured the vent fluids with a temperature probe last year, we saw temperatures as high as 340 degrees Celsius (644 Fahrenheit). However, the temperatures of the hydrothermal vents found at Axial Seamount vary quite a bit. Once we get to the ASHES and International District hydrothermal vent fields during this cruise, we will be measuring the temperatures of the vents. We will keep you posted with what we find!

Question submitted by: marthasmom

Yes, in most of the video that we will be streaming you will see two green laser dots. The lasers are spaced 10 cm apart from one another so that we (and you) can determine the scale of what you are seeing in the image. We will occasionally turn the lasers off for surveys that focus on obtaining still images and high definition video. (This question was asked during Dive 1463, a photo mosaic survey, which had the lasers turned off. The streaming image was ~5 meters across during this dive.)

Question submitted by: Georgine

Hydrate seeps are very common. They occur on most continental margins at water depths greater than ~500 meters. For hydrates to be stable, you need to be at the right pressure, temperature and have adequate methane concentrations (carbon source).

Question submitted by: Mark

Hydrate Ridge is an incredibly diverse area in terms of the biota. Some of the species we've seen so far are: Tanner crabs, Myctophids, Searobins, Cranchiid squid, mushroom coral, Beggiatoa bacterial mats, Neptunea snails, Calyptogena clams, blue sharks and mola mola.

Question submitted by: Melani Baker

good question! The ROPOS crew says that they typically lower and haul in ROPOS at about 20 meters per minute.

Question submitted by: Hunter

The first leg will go from August 11 - 19 and the second leg will go from August 19 - September 1.

Question submitted by: Hunter