Mariana Trench News

The autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry (yellow, at left) is prepared for deployment off the stern of the RV Falkor, after a trace-metal CTD instrument package and water sampler is recovered (lower right). Photo credit SOI

New Deep-Sea Vents, Volcanic Activity Found in Mariana Back-Arc

characterize the rarely explored Mariana Back-Arc. HAGANTA, GUAM – A diverse team of scientists are returning from a 28-day expedition onboard R/V Falkor that has more than doubled the number of known hydrothermal vent sites in the Mariana Back-arc region. This area, west of the Mariana Trench, is where plate spreading and submarine volcanism are concentrated. Several momentous findings were made, including the discovery of one of the deepest vents ever found. Another important outcome was the discovery of an extremely rare recently-erupted underwater lava field that is likely only

China Plans Manned Submersible 2013 Missions

a five-year trial period for the Jiaolong before it starts regular operation, the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research & Development Association, an agency of China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) informed Xinhua. The Jiaolong completed a record dive of 7,062 meters in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in June 2012, demonstrating that it has the ability to allow China to conduct deep-sea scientific research and resource exploration in 99.8 percent of the world's oceans. However, it appears that the Jiaolong is not yet ready for regular operation, as its mother ship has yet to be built and

Cameron & Avery: Photo credit Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

James Cameron Gifts 'Deepsea Challenger' to Woods Hole

on the historic breakthroughs of the 2012 Cameron-led Deepsea Challenge expedition exploring deep-ocean trenches. The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of Cameron's unprecedented solo dive to 35,787 feet, almost 11,000 meters, to the deepest place on Earth - the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench - in the vertically-deployed vehicle he and his team engineered, the Deepsea Challenger submersible system and science platform. Cameron will transfer the Deepsea Challenger to Woods Hole, where WHOI scientists and engineers will work with Cameron and his team to incorporate the sub's numerous

Jiaolong crew-members: Photo courtesy of China SOA

China Submersible Sets to Sea

, leaves Jiangyin on a marine science expedition. During the 103-day mission, the submersible will submerge for scientific research in the South China Sea, the northeast Pacific Ocean and the west Pacific. Jiaolong set a new dive record after reaching 7,062 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in June 2012, demonstrating China's ability to conduct deep-sea scientific research and resource exploration in 99.8 percent of the world's oceans. However, Jiaolong is not yet ready for regular operation, according to the State Oceanic Administration (SOA). The mission will mark the start

Engineer’s Ridge (Image: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Newly Found Seafloor Rise Named Engineer’s Ridge

of equipment and address problems that can determine the success of an expedition.”   According to the official naming proposal, Falkor and its crew ran 393 kilometers of survey lines to define the underwater bluff. It was during an expedition to explore the biology and geology of the Mariana Trench, that the team discovered Engineer’s Ridge and obtained footage of the deepest fish known to science. “Without the contribution of Falkor’s engineering team we would have been unable to continue to explore the deepest parts of the world’s oceans, and ultimately discover

(Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

Uncharted Depths: Exploring the Marianas with SuBastian

A crescent shaped scar on the earth’s crust marks the location of the deepest known part of the world’s ocean.    With some areas reaching depths more than 36,000 feet, scientists rely on a range of pioneering deep-sea technologies to survey the unexplored regions of the Mariana Trench. In 1987, the submersible Alvin was the first to visit the nearby Mariana Back-arc, a zone of highly active submarine volcanism and hydrothermal vents hidden 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. After returning to the Back-arc 30 years later equipped with the Schmidt Ocean Institute&rsquo

The team will use the deep-submergence vehicle, Nereus, to collect both biological and sediment samples. Nereus will stream imagery from its video camera to the ship via a fiber-optic filament about the width of human hair. This state of the art vehicle, developed by a team of engineers at WHOI, dove to the deepest part of the ocean—Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench—on its first mission in May 2009. (Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Exploring One of the Deepest Ocean Trenches

about the width of human hair.  This state of the art vehicle, developed by a team of engineers at WHOI, is the result of a combination of some of the greatest advances in technology and science, and has already dove successfully to the deepest part of the ocean—Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench—on its first mission in May 2009. This expedition will build on earlier studies of the Kermadec Trench by Alan Jamieson at UA’s Oceanlab and colleagues at NIWA and the University of Tokyo. Using the Hadal-lander, which was developed at Oceanlab, the team has documented new species

Extreme Sampling: Hadal Trenches

of the deep trenches for the marine carbon and nitrogen cycle, ii) explore the unique benthic microbial communities driving these processes, and iii) investigate the proposed great role of virus in regulating microbial performance in hadal sediments.“ Previous expeditions such as the Mariana Trench in 2010, have revealed surprisingly high levels of biological activity at nearly 11 kilometres deep. The Hades project now aims to investigate how life is sustained at these depths and how its activity affects the biogeochemical functioning of the oceans and the Earth. In the Pacific Ocean

(Photo: Schmidt Ocean Institute)

MTR100: Schmidt Ocean Institute

world’s deepest fish and several new underwater seamounts. In five years, R/V Falkor’s advanced multibeam system has mapped over 400,000 km² of ocean floor, an area larger than most European countries. Research onboard Falkor has also focused on poorly understood areas such as the Mariana Trench Back-Arc. As a result of the cruises conducted, over 72 publications have been produced since 2013 and more than 3,000 individuals have been reached through virtual classroom connections as part of SOI’s Ship-to-Shore Program. Engaging students from around the world has been an exciting

Rayotek designed  the 7.5 ft. diameter  glass sphere for Triton’s  36000/3 Submersible.

Rayotek: Seeing Under Pressure

can take extremely hostile environments and that’s why we are the only company in the U.S. that makes the windows for the Orion spacecraft.  We also make protective domes for cameras and human occupancy vehicles to withstand harsh environments and high pressures, such as the bottom of the Mariana Trench.” Sight glasses provide the opportunity to look into pressurized systems.  “One of the most reliable instruments are our own eyes, and sight glasses allow us to view into extreme pressure environments safely, be it a hydraulics system or the deep sea,” says Raggio. Raggio

Launching the Fugro Q1400 trenching system

Fugro Wraps Up Gwyn t Môr Cable Work

Aberdeen-based Fugro Subsea Services Limited (FSSL) has completed the trenching and burial of inter-array cables for CT Offshore at the Gwyn t Môr wind farm in the Irish Sea off the North Wales coast. The 160 turbine Gwyn t Môr is currently the largest offshore wind farm under construction in Europe. Central to the success of the cabling operation was Fugro’s custom-built Q1400 Trenching System which can perform both jet trenching and mechanical chain cutting of soils. In total 37 cables were trenched into very hard seabed with a mixture of soils and hard clays interspersed with

Oceanscan Invests in Applanix Multibeam and INS

Swathe Services announced that Oceanscan has recently made a significant investment for an R2Sonic 2022 digital wideband multibeam system with integrated I2NS (POS MV Wavemaster) INS.    The Sonic 2022 is portable, the compact form factor making it ideal for integration into AUV, ROV, or small boat operations with a range up to 400m of water.    The 3,000m-rated Sonic 2022 unit is fitted with the 700 kHz UHR Option, Truepix backscatter and raw water column detect, making it an ideal high-resolution sonar. When UHR is selected, the beam width is 0.6° x 0.6° providing

Festive Season Subsea Contracts for DeepOcean

Within days of eachother Deep Ocean secures subsea offshore contracts in Australia, and in the North Sea. North Sea Contract: DeepOcean UK, Ltd., a subsidiary of DeepOcean Group Holding BV, contracted by Statoil AS for the installation and trenching of a Permanent Reservoir Monitoring (PRM) System on the Snorre oil field in the North Sea, Norwegian Sector. The project represents DeepOcean UK’s largest ever contract award. The multi-year project commences in 2013 and consists of the installation and trenching of circa 500km of subsea seismic cables and associated riser in water

Photos courtesy of  FUGRO

Fugro Adds Cable-lay to its Trenching Services

Fugro is now offering cable-lay in addition to trenching to its offshore windfarm and tidal energy clients. The company has equipped its trenching vessel Fugro Saltire with a compact, custom-made, cable-lay spread. This comprises a reel drive system to store the cables, a tensioner to lay them, twin winches and a quadrant deployment system on rails, all fitted to the rear deck of the Fugro Saltire alongside the existing trenching equipment. In operation the cables are initially pulled into the base of the wind turbine generators (WTG) and then laid along the seabed using the Saltire’s

DeepOcean Win North Sea Trenching Contract

 DeepOcean UK, contracted by Technip for trenching services on the Stella Field Development, operated by Ithaca Energy. The contract includes project management, engineering and associated trenching and backfilling works for the infield flexible flowlines and umbilicals.  In addition, DeepOcean will provide post-lay trenching and backfilling services to the export rigid pipelines. DeepOcean will mobilise some of its key intervention assets including the AMP 500 plough & BFP backfill plough. Installation is due to take place in summer 2013 from the Maersk Assister. Tony Inglis

(Image: XPRIZE)

Ocean vs Space: Exploration and the Quest to Inspire the Public

made front-page news globally and, with each new finding, continued to generate massive global interest. At approximately the same time, in March 2012, James Cameron, one of the world’s best known movie directors, personally embarked on an extremely dangerous mission to the bottom of the Mariana Trench (approximately 11 kilometers deep and approximately 300 kilometers from the nearest land). As the third person in human history to do this (Jacques Piccard and Capt. Don Walsh made this journey for the first time in 1960), it was an incredible testament to human achievement. In one example, we

Preparing the SCAR subsea plough for deployment.

Baltic Wind Success Paves Way for Ecosse Subsea Systems

Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has completed a £4.7 million boulder clearing and pre-lay trenching project which it claims has been one of the most successful ever conducted for the wind energy sector. As subcontractor to Siem Offshore Contractors (SOC), the Banchory-based subsea specialist completed 86 boulder clearing passes followed by 172 first and multi-passes over a 90km route during a 13-week boulder clearing and trenching campaign on the EnBW Baltic 2 offshore wind farm project. The project was on schedule and on budget and now ESS is looking to secure a frame agreement with SOC for

UTV1200 Operationally Ready in New Year

Pharos Offshore acquired an SMD built 1200HP cable burial tool in July 2013, since then the vehicle has undergone extensive modifications that have enhanced the configuration to provide a more effective post lay/ installation burial vehicle. Modifications to the vehicle have been made at the Tees Offshore Base, in Middlesbrough. The UTV1200 has a combination of jetting tool packages to meet client requirements where the jetting assembly has been relocated within the core vehicle frame, where the centrally mounted jetting swords optimise steering and handling as well as cable acquisition capability

Marine Technology Magazine Cover Sep 2017 - Ocean Observation: Gliders, Buoys & Sub-Surface Networks

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