What's it Like at the Bottom of the Ocean?
Image courtesy of Ridge2000
On January 10, 2007, the Research Vessel Atlantis left Manzanillo, Mexico,
sailing south for 2 days to reach a site in the East Pacific Ocean. The R/V Atlantis is the support ship for the manned submersible, Alvin. Scientists on board will spend the month of January diving to the seafloor in the submersible to study the volcanic eruptions and deep-sea life along the mid-ocean ridge system.
Last year (in May 2006), scientists found extensive fresh lava at this site, evidence of recent volcanic eruptions. Most of the animals that had been living near the deep sea vents at this site were no longer there. During this research cruise, scientists are investigating whether deep sea life has returned to this area since the eruptions.
During the cruise, researchers will observe and document changes at the study site on the ocean floor. Eric Simms, co-coordinator of the SEAS (Student Experiments at Sea)
education program, is aboard the
ship. He is sending virtual postcards from sea to Windows to the Universe, describing the experience of deep sea research.
Take a look at Eric’s postcards linked below. Check back often for new postcards!
Greetings from the East Pacific Rise from Eric Simms, January 18, 2007
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea from Eric Simms, January 24, 2007
Houston, We Have a Phone Call! from Eric Simms, January 26, 2007
Diving to the Deep from Eric Simms, February 1, 2007
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