28 Jan – East Scotia Ridge expedition blog – week 2

Alfred on the deck of RRS James Cook, iceberg in background

Mud sampling: 28 January 2011

Alfred Aquilina and the sediment sampling team have been working hard in the cold temperature lab to extract water from the stinking mud from around the hydrothermal sites. “The most exciting thing is to see the data that we process on board” says Alfred, “we are really productive at sea; working round the clock in shifts” he adds.

Rachel resetting CTD bottles

Plots of various chemicals extracted from the fluids on the seafloor are pasted round the lab showing how the hydrogen sulphide and methane move through the sediment.

We have finished our work at Hook Ridge and have moved 97 km south west down the Bransfield Strait to our second site, Middle Sister. Here we start our prospecting work again, first making a map of the seafloor so we can see all the volcanic features. Middle Sister consists of three parallel ridges, the long linear structure in the centre will be examined in detail to determine if there are vents, areas of pillow lava and sediment ponds.

For excerpts from the dive log and pictures from the seafloor see www.thesearethevoyages.net/jc55/jan24.html.