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 area was chosen because previous exploration had shown the presence of microbial "mats" making a living off methane gas released from the seismically active region. The purpose of the dive was to bring back samples of the microbial mats - hopefully the more rare "orange" version, together with samples of snails and mud cores of clam beds that also live in this area. We will dive near the summit of an underwater mountain range. It was a very nice evening and the dive is planned for 7:00 a.m on September 8th. Three of us will go down in Alvin: myself, Dr. Susan Avery, the director of the Woods Hole Oceanography Institution, and our expedition leader and Alvin pilot, Bruce Strickrott.
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Postcards from the Field: Postcards from Alvin