The deep secrets of the Cayman Trough to be revealed

February 06, 2013

The RRS James Cook sets sail today (6 February 2013) for the Cayman Trough to look at the hottest and deepest hydrothermal vents on the planet.

Scientists from the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton discovered the vents back in 2010. The new team, led by Dr Jon Copley, are returning with high definition cameras and sampling equipment to investigate the vents more closely.

The Mid-Cayman Rise is the deepest known site of volcanic activity reaching to depths of around 6,000 metres. This has implications for the physics and chemistry of the hydrothermal fluids emitted by the vents, and in turn, the organisms that use chemosynthetic energy sources.

The vents are located in an isolated trough in the Caribbean. Interestingly for the scientists, the area was linked to the Pacific Ocean before the closure of the Isthmus of Panama some three million years ago. The team will be using the deep-diving remotely operated vehicle Isis to investigate the communities hosted by the vents. Isis has been designed to work to depths down to 6,500 metres.

Follow the scientists on their blog: http://intothecaymanabyss.blogspot.co.uk/

Publication(s):
Publication: 



Home | Back to top


Information for…

Business

The outputs of research generate new knowledge about the oceans. Transferring scientific knowledge to support business and industry is an important part of our NOC remit.

More

Researchers

Our research is intended to tackle the big environmental issues facing the world. Research priorities will include the oceans' role in climate change, sea level change and the future of the Arctic Ocean.

More

Students

The University of Southampton and the University of Liverpool both offer a range of highly regarded undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Ocean and Earth Science.

More

Media

For any media or press enquiries to the National Oceanography Centre follow the more link below. Please note the centre's press office is staffed from 0830 to 1730, Monday to Friday.

More

Staff

NOC Staff can access the Intranet and Webmail resources at the following URLS.

Everyone

Follow what we are up to:

Follow NOCnews on Twitter Follow NOCSnews on Youtube Follow NOC on facebook

Delivery Partners

Delivery Partners helping to provide marine science national capability.

More

Marine Science Community

The creation of a wider association of Universities and research institutions to support wider engagement of the NOC with the marine science community is now underway.

More 

Library

The National Oceanographic Library is a national resource for the UK marine science community.

More 

Principal scientists

All updated information for cruise participants can be found using the Marine Facilities Planning website:

More