1 February – East Scotia Ridge expedition blog – week 3

Livingstone Island

The Axe, Bransfield Strait

Our final site within the Strait is aptly named ‘The Axe’. This is the least studied site that we have chosen to study and first we need to map the seafloor.

Again we use the conductivity-temperature-depth package to identify anomalous chemical signals in the deep water over the volcanic ridge. The South Shetland Islands are close by and we have great views of Livingstone Island just off to starboard.

James Cooper modifying SHRIMP electronics

The Southampton-based ROV team, led by Dave Turner, has done a fabulous salvage job on the remotely operated vehicle Isis to upgrade the SHRIMP video sled for our needs. SHRIMP hasn’t been used in anger for over a year so needed some serious attention before we could deploy this back-up system. The team have integrated SHRIMP with the Isis termination and launch and recovery system, and mounted the high definition camera and fibre optics on the frame. This means we can use the sled rather like the ROV and run all operations from the ROV van, now renamed the ‘SHRIMP shack’. The ROV team have risen to the engineering challenge with skill and enthusiasm and enabled us to gather great quality video of the seafloor along the volcanic edifices we have surveyed.

For more details on our voyage and links for Schools see www.thesearethevoyages.net/jc55.