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    Image Courtesy of Tim Killeen

From: Tim Killeen
Astoria, Oregon, September 7, 2009

The Scene at Astoria

The team is assembling for a short cruise aboard the Atlantis, leaving Astoria, Oregon on a scientific cruise to Hydrate Ridge. At Hydrate Ridge, the deep submersible, Alvin, will explore the sea bottom and conduct technical trials in a unique and seismically active part of Cascadia Margin. This region is responsible for many of the earthquakes regularly experienced in the northwest United States and Canada. This is my first deep sea dive! Let's hope for calm seas.

Tim

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Postcards from the Field: Postcards from Alvin

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The Scene at Astoria

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Planning for the Dive

After leaving Astoria we steamed to the "Hydrate Ridge" - an area at a latitude of 44N and longitude of 125W, about 45 miles off the coast of Oregon, where the sea floor is at a depth of 780 meters. The...more

The Journey to the Ocean Floor

We clambered into the Alvin. Once inside, there wasn't much space for the three of us to move around. The "cabin" is a sphere made out of welded titanium metal and it's about the size of a small walk-in...more

Searching for Microbial Mats

Once on the sea floor, Bruce started moving around to search for the microbial mats. Alvin moves a little like a blimp - you give it some momentum in a particular direction and it will keep going. It turns...more

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To return to the surface, Bruce jettisoned two sets of weights and we began to ascend, again very gracefully. Again, we saw all kinds of jellyfish, strange fluorescent creatures, and floating particules...more

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