A hard day’s work

7 May 2019

We’re back on site and hard at work to make up for our time away. The ROV has been deployed not once, not twice, but three times – each time ferrying down a different collection of sensors and equipment.

First thing this morning the ROV Isis collected some push cores (small tubes of sediment from the uppermost part of the seafloor) and carried down the sediment optodes. These small spike-like sensors were slowly inserted into the seafloor sediments, where they’ll stay for the next few days to record the pH.

Veerle and the team monitor progress at the seafloor via the monitors in the ROV control van

Technical crew also keep an eye on progress

Straight after lunch the hydrophone wall was loaded onto Isis. As its name suggests, this apparatus contains 5 hydrophones – a type of underwater microphone – arranged in an X shape on a frame that will sit at the seafloor. These hydrophones will (we hope!) eventually record the sound of gas escaping from the seabed, giving us a measurement of gas flux.

Wall of sound: this is the hydrophone wall, specially designed and built to detect bubbles in the water column, in position on the seafloor. Exciting times!

Last but not least today the baseline baseline boundary lander was deployed. This impressive lander will conduct a pre-programmed time-series sampling of the water at the seafloor over the next 48 hours. This will provide us with a wealth of information about the background chemistry of the area before we begin the controlled release experiment.

And with that, the work for the day is finished and the ROV team take a well-deserved break. We’ll be similarly busy day tomorrow so stay tuned!

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