2014 ROVJason Use For Chadwick Moyer Cruise

Andrew Bowen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutiton

Abstract

WHOI operates the NDSF, which includes the human-occupied Deep Submergence Vehicle (HOV) Alvin, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Jason, and the Autonomous Underwater
Vehicle (AUV) Sentry. These facilities are funded by federal agencies such as the National
Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and National Oceanic &
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on a daily rate basis, to provide deep sea capabilities for funded science programs sponsored by these agencies. R/V Atlantis served as the support vehicle for HOV Alvin. The ROV and AUV can be installed on other vessels suitable for their deployment. This “fly-away” capability provides scheduling flexibility to meet a much wider range of requirements for the scientific community.

The ROV Jason days will be used to augment the fieldwork at both NW Eifuku and NW Rota
seamounts. This will be a joint cruise between Dr. Moyer at WWU and PMEL/EOI. The PMEL team will consist of geologists, chemists with expertise in hydrothermal vent fluid and gas sampling, as well as plume mapping and chemical sensing in the water column. Planned work at NW Eifuku Seamount will focus on co-located sampling of microbial mats and vent fluids to determine the chemical environment of the iron-oxidizing bacteria.
Another focus will be the spatial distribution of low-pH waters in relation to the CO2 vents and the surrounding biological
communities. A third focus will be to perform incubation experiments on the seafloor to assess the effects of the acidic conditions on mussel growth in collaboration with biologist Dr. Verena Tunnicliffe (University of Victoria). In addition, the summit of NW Eifuku will be mapped in high-resolution to reveal the geological setting of the hydrothermal vents. The overall goal is ecosystem exploration of macro- and micro-biological habitats that are being impacted by the poorly understood process of ocean acidification.