A fossilized lava pond reflects past circulation of melt on the seafloor in a small lava lake. The surface is glass, and fine sediments highight the whirl. VISIONS '13, Leg 4
Photo credit: NSF-OOI/UW/CSSF
After transiting ~ 20 hrs from the base of the continental margin, we arrived once again at the place we have grown so fond of - Axial Volcano. August 9th began with a tour of the rim of the ASHES hydrothermal field in preparation for deployment of a medium-powered junction box there and a 1.2 km cable running off to the east for a short-period seismometer deployment. Following the quick tour, ROPOS transited east to scope out the cable lay and to mark a flat spot for deployment of the seismometer. Transiting across the caldera floor, we traversed over the April 2011 lava flow, beautiful swirls marking sheet flows, and extensive lobate and pillow flows. At the end of the dive we cut loose a transponder whose batteries had died and then ROPOS ascended in preparation for a follow-on dive to install the cable. Both ROPOS and the transponder were brought back on deck.
In the evening ROCLS was deployed with the 1.2 km cable and the cable deployment was completed a little before midnight. Cable laying is a complicated process, but the ROPOS team and Giora Proskurowski landed the end of the cable dead-on at the end location scoped out the previous dive.
The morning of August 10th will be spent doing some cable management around the ASHES vent field. Onboard, the students are working on their projects, absorbing all that they can about ship life and ROV operations, and enjoying being at sea. All is well...