Friday, April 24, 2015

We're headed to Kilo Moana

This morning we arrived on site, -22.180S, -176.601 W; Mariner vent 1900 m below us.  There is a storm somewhere to the west of us, and is generating occasional large swells. Tito, the ROV Jason expedition leader, has decided we need to wait till the swell diminishes some, so we decided instead of waiting at Mariner, we will head up North to our northern most site, Kilo Moana. Ultimately we'd need to make this transit at some time, and why not now while we wait for the seas to subside a bit?  Kilo Moana is about 240 km away. We'll pass to the west of Tongatapu and hopefully spot an island or two on our way up (as we did this morning).  Karen also spotted her first Albatross this morning, which was a special treat for an early morning rise.

Small island welcomed our morning sunrise today
This is one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and so new islands form relatively frequently. The most recent was just this January (see, or google Tongan Volcano). We are very curious to visit our deep-sea vent sites to see if they have changed at all from the last time we were here in 2009.  At that time, the hydrothermal fluids at Kilo Moana had changed from when they were first collected in 2005, so what does Kilo Moana have in store for us this year?!  We will have some clues after we do our first dive there, hopefully tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment